Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Love and Grace (09/11/14)
TITLE: Divine Influence
By Diane M. Bowman
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At one point, while experiencing the rapid adjustment of my airplane seat by the two-year-old sitting behind me, I began to question why God would care so much about such a motley crew. What did he see in the human race to prompt him to love them, much less die for them? Furthermore, why pour out his grace on them, investing his divine influence in the lives of any individual who desires it?
As I continued to meditate (in my animated seat), this fact occurred to me - if the two year old behind me had been my nephew, my level of amusement at his inability to control his energy would have been much higher. Not only would my patience have been elevated, but also, I would have turned around and assisted in his entertainment. (Granted, I just might have attempted to instill in him the virtue of not allowing his feet to encounter things that are in close proximity to the person in front of him.)
What is different between the boy on the plane and my nephew? They both have blonde hair. They are the same age. It's obvious that both love their daddy. The only significant difference between the small child who shook my seat and my nephew is this - my nephew is mine. Therefore, my love for him is greater than my love for the child who I will likely never see again. (Of course, he is cuter as well, but that is a discussion for another time!)
My claim that my nephew is mine only paints an extremely minute picture of the right God has to his creation. The knowledge of his ownership of the human race brings some enlightenment to our questions regarding why we receive the love and grace of God.
When Satan saw the man and woman God had formed and placed in the Garden of Eden, he perceived that they were his most precious creation. In his rebellion against God, he set out to steal them away. But our merciful God had already, before they were even created, made a plan to bring them back to him. Why? Because they were smart, strong, and beautiful? No. He redeemed them with his blood because they were his. Similar to the ransom money paid by the family of a hostage - he paid a price to have what was rightfully his returned to him.
Because we are his, he pours out his love on us.
Because we are his, he guides our lives through his grace, to make us worthy of fellowship with him.
How then ought we, who God redeemed by his love and who he has brought into his family by grace, view those who steadily adjust our seats? To be perfectly honest, I had very little imperturbability for having a massage seat that didn't have timing and intensity controls, but as I considered the love of God for us, he gave me the ability to see this child as his child. At the end of the flight, I turned around and noticed he was sleeping. A short conversation with his father revealed the exhaustion of an early morning and the stress of a very rough day. It also revealed the love of a father.
It behooves us, as those who have received much, to view each person we meet through the eyes of God's love. To see them as his beloved creation. To take the time and the effort to see what he intends for them to become by the working of his divine influence on their hearts.
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