One thing I am struggling with on this journey is the feeling that I should love God. I have no problem in him loving me (rather selfish attitude I know...) but when it comes to loving Him I find it hard. I believe, of course, and I am hungry to know him more, but I don't feel I can say that I love him, not yet anyway. Maybe that is something that comes with time, after all this is a new relationship, in a way. I mean you don't just love someone instantly the first time you meet them or hear about them do you? So I guess I should just try to get to know him more and then that will come, but it has been bothering me.
I am reading a book called 'The Shack' at the moment by Wm Paul Young. Funny how 'coincidences' (don't believe in that word any more...) just happen. And reading this was one of those - 3 people mentioned this book to me in the space of a week and all were raving about it, so I bought it. (I have spent a small fortune on Amazon recently!) At first it took me a while to get into it and whilst I do not want to give away the plot I won't be revealing too much by saying that the central character meets God. Now when God first appears in the book, it is as a big African woman! I have to admit this instantly put me off, and reminded be of the film 'Dogma', where at the end God is revealed and turns out to be acted by Alanis Morisette (for any youngsters she was a 90s grunge rocker) which was, for me, the final straw in a truly awful movie, which the writers try to big up by their statement at the beginning about being believers and not trying to offend anyone and that viewers should have an open mind. Frankly, they needed a miracle not an open mind to make it a good movie, but anyway I am way off the point (this happens a lot, sorry...).
So... I am reading 'The Shack'. This morning our smoke alarm started going off at 5.30am and then again at 5.45 and then at 6am.... it is clearly possessed and just doing this to irritate the hell out of me, which worked as I swore several times which I haven't done for a while... Anyway as I was awake and every time I even vaguely started to drift off, it went off again, I gave up and decided to reward myself with some reading time. Hey, maybe it was God, saying 'you can't sleep I have stuff for you to read!' So I had plenty of time to sink into the book. And actually I loved it! and this morning I read something that really made me start to think about the loving God issue. I don't want to give away the plot but the character has to think about his own children and he wants to put himself in their place, and of course the analogy is that of Jesus giving up his life for us. and this really made me think of the relationship as a father-child one, more than anything else I've read. It just made me think wow, he REALLY loves ME, and then it actually made me feel like I was beginning to feel love for him too. I'm not ready to say it yet, I try to when I pray but it feels so false.
Although I tell my kids every day that I love them I find it hard saying it to my husband, even though I do love him. So maybe it's the same with God, I mean when I look at the facts, what he is doing in my life and how I feel about it all, I think 'yeah of course I do, I do love him', but saying it and meaning it are 2 different things. Now is not the time for a whole debate on why I can or cannot tell people I love them, thats a whole other blog! but I guess I felt like I was led to read this book and although it's fiction, it's really making me think about my relationship with God. Someone said to me last night 'he's probably talking to you all the time, you just haven't realised it yet - it could be in a movie, in something someone says, it could be where you least expect it, you just have to learn to 'hear' it.' So I guess I need to start listening, I mean really listening!
'and now these three remain: faith, hope & love. But the greatest of these is love.' 1 Corinthians 13:13
So I have faith, even if it's just a mustard seed, I always have Hope; and love? well I guess I have to have hope that my faith will ultimately allow me to love...