Our preacher at church likes to ask the question, “What would you do if you knew God would always be there with you?” Essentially, it’s a question that will make your head spin if you think about it too hard. First, you think about all the huge tasks that you would be able to tackle if you had God on your side. Second, God is on your side already, so get to work.
It’s a pretty daunting thought to truly understand what it means to have the Creator of the universe in your corner everyday. Obviously, He’s not there endorsing the stupid/sinful things that we do, but He’s there nonetheless. If you look up passages in the early Old Testament, there are several times when God tells His followers that He is there, and He will always be there.
His presence – His love – is unconditional.
I started reading President George W. Bush’s autobiography, Decision Points, yesterday, and I must admit, I’m pretty impressed so far. I know the book has only been out for about two weeks, so is it too soon to drop a quote from the book yet? I hope not. Regarding the love he saw from his parents, Bush writes, “When you know you have unconditional love, there is no point in rebellion and no need to fear failure.”
Everyone has a different vision of what they think God looks like. I think of Him as an old man with silver hair and a deep, booming voice. When I think of His unconditional love, I picture Him standing there always waiting with His arms open preparing for a hug.
It’s similar to how Jesus describes God in the parable of the prodigal son. The short version of the story is that the son betrays his father, blows all of his inheritance, and returns home ready to grovel at his father’s feet, but the father welcomes him back with open arms and throws a party for him.
The problem is that most people think there is a catch to everything. There’s no such think as unconditional love, so we do everything we can to try to earn God’s love, and we are drowned in guilt when we fall short. Thus, our failures drive us further from the truth that God is still there waiting with open arms. If we truly believe in unconditional love, Bush said it correctly – we don’t need to fear failure, but we also choose to live obediently.
What would you do if you knew God loved you unconditionally?