​Today is the day of my birth. I have lived a long time, over three score and ten. Fifty years ago I made a proclamation of faith, and though I’ve stumbled more than a few times over the years I have not looked back. I have grown to love the God of my salvation, yet, if I were perfectly honest I have to say that I understand what it means when it says, "He first loved us". For many years I did not really know what it meant to love. I thought I understood the concept, and hence I loved my family and many of my friends. However, really understanding what love is took many years, and more than one heartbreak. So rather than miss truth and say I loved God all those years, it would be more accurate to say that I had a passion for God, and more to the point what I saw Him do for me and my family:

Through my whole life (young and old), I have never witnessed God forsaking those who do right, nor have I seen their children begging for crumbs, Palm 37:25 (TPT)

What I experienced was the goodness of God. I learned that He answered prayer, and when my prayers felt weak, I learned I could take my prayer requests to the church and corporate prayer was even better. It was not until the years of being in the wilderness, when things were scarce, and looked hopeless, and God was silent that I began to understand what love is. It happened at the same time I was experiencing the parent/child struggles, only it was not just one child, but eight! Would I forsake one of those eight, no matter how rebellious or stubborn they were? Would I cease to provide food, clothing, and shelter for one of them (well maybe I would teach them a lesson and not buy them new shoes)? It was at this point that I understood why I witnessed that among the young and among the old, God never forsook HIs children, nor even their children.

I have lived to see the promises of God fulfilled not only in my life, but also in the lives of so many others. I have seen ways made out of no way. I have seen legal sentences reversed. I have seen finances appear almost as if falling from heaven. I have seen sick and dying bodies raised up. I have seen entry into schools when there was said to be no way. I have experienced promotion on jobs where I was the least likely candidate. I have seen a car being given to me. I have seen God cover me through eight pregnancies and bring forth eight healthy children who looked like they were three months old when they were born! I have seen how I narrowly missed getting hit with an head-on collision. I have seen my children, one by one, determine that the world did not offer them the same satisfaction that God could provide and surrender their life to Christ. I could go on and on and on and on about His Word being fulfilled in my life and the lives of those I know. Through it all – God has been faithful. Through it all He’s shown love. How could I not love Him back? 

Danny Gokey wrote a song and it sums up my philosophy at this juncture of my life, here is an excerpt:

...Love is patient, love is kind
Rescues hearts and changes lives
Love is all we need to make things right
Gotta keep it real simple, oh
It’s really so simple, oh-ooh-oh-oh-oh-ohh

Gotta keep it real simple, keep it real simple
Bring everything right back to ground zero
‘Cause it all comes down to this
Love God and love people (People)
We’re living in a world that keeps breakin’ (Oh yeah)
But if we want to find a way to change it (Find a way, yeah)
It all comes down to this (Everything comes down to this)
Love God and love people (Woah)

Keep on loving, keep on loving
Love God and love people
So keep on loving, keep on loving
It’s all about love
It’s how we change the world
Love God and love people

Writer(s): Benjamin Glover, Colby Wedgeworth, Danny Gokey

I charge you today, take Him at His Word.

Maria