John 10:27-29 are the most comforting words in the Bible to me.
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.” NASB
Along with the comfort comes a sobering reminder that I must follow when I hear Christ. It is, and always will be, true that no one can snatch me from His hand; but it is also true that I can hop out anytime I want. He will let me wander for however long it takes to create my own kingdoms, make my own mountains, and plan my own projects.
Christ doesn’t close his hand around me because it would become a fist. His open palm allows me to be who I am. God is the ultimate example self-differentiation, and His love only exists in an open, honest environment. He doesn’t force or coerce, and He refuses to fuse. I must do the same if I am to love Him and others as He desires.
When my kingdoms crash, my mountains topple, and my projects fail, I crawl back into God’s loving hand. He doesn’t gloat or fuss or say, “I told you so.” He loves. His love never changes or moves, and it is best described in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
“Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” NASB
This is a season of love, and as we light the Advent candle of love tomorrow, I pray our hearts will remember the love that brought Christ down to where we are. There is nothing that compares to it. May we trust His love and love Him and others as He loves us. That means letting go, being who we truly are, and allowing others to be the same:)
God created His kingdom with love, and this is a season designed to celebrate His love. His love is the greatest gift ever given, and it becomes the greatest gift we can give to one another. Let love lead the way this Christmas when it comes to giving because it is what we all need and want.