March 1, 2010
A Personal God
We truly have a God who personally cares about each of us. I have come to realize this more and more the past few months as I have learned to focus on the personal interactions I have had with the Lord.
We often point to the scriptures as our main source of truth in regards to revealing the Lord to us. We look at how Jesus taught the multitude and cared for them enough to feed each of them individually. We see His personal interactions with Peter when He patiently taught Him of His true and divine mission. We learn of the love and care He had for the women at the tomb who found it empty that Easter morn. It is hard not to sense the love that Jesus had for these who surround Him. Yet, much is lost through the transmission of not only translation, but also the written text; thus, learning who Christ is and how much He personally loves us can often be overshadowed or lost. Another way we can learn of the love of the Lord is through our interactions with those around us. These pillars of faith teach us of who Christ is, and what true charity is by the examples of selfless service they give to the world. We learn of Him because of the choices they make every day.
Yet, as I mentioned, our God is a personal God who not only desires to teach us about His love for us by the words of the scriptures and the examples of others, but also by His daily personal interactions with us. Allow me to explain. When you want to truly know someone, how do you do it? You can read a book or ask someone who knows them in order to learn of them. However, the best way to know someone is to be able to interact with them on a daily basis and not only learn of them through their words, but through their love that you feel from them. All of my grandparents died before I ever knew any of them. I have often longed to know them, to be able to ask them questions, to learn of their lives, and in particular, to feel of their love. Yet, because I never really knew them, I can only learn of them through the words they wrote and through those whom they knew.
Yet when it comes to our God, He has not left us to learn of Him through these (to be honest) weak sources. Don’t get me wrong, I love the scriptures, I love the words of the prophets, but what I love most about the gospel is not these things. The thing I love about the gospel is that God teaches us individually through His personal daily interactions with us. Have you ever taken the time to ponder how the Lord interacts with you? Have you ever asked how the Lord expresses His love for you? Have you ever noticed the way He forgives you? How He expresses confidence in you? As you look for the hand of the Lord in all your interactions, I promise you that He will become a more personal God to you, and your respect and gratitude will grow for Him as you notice His hand in all things.
Allow me to share a few personal interactions I have had with the Lord to demonstrate this point. First, I have noticed how quick the Lord is to forgive me of my sins. I often find myself on my knees a short time after I have done something wrong, expecting to feel ashamed or guilty, only to be filled with love and joy. A love that is more powerful than words can describe. On these occasions it seems that as soon as I kneel down I am engulfed by His forgiving power. This teaches me of how much He loves me, and also shows me how I should love others. How often do we hang on to those things that others have done, only to hesitantly forgive them long after they ask for forgiveness?
I have also noticed His confidence in me, and His acceptance of the small works of service I render. My sacrifices that I bring to the altar are, well, imperfect and incomplete. Yet the Lord does not tell me what I can do to improve my gift, He tells me of how grateful He is for my willingness, and blesses me as if my gift was whole and complete. When the Lord does this, it inspires me and helps me to be confident in even the smallest sacrifice that I make. Yet, how often do we tell people of how they can improve even before we thank them for what they have done.
These are only two personal interactions I have had with the Lord; however, I have had numerous, far more than I could ever write. These interactions are personal, powerful teachings that help me better know who the Lord is and how truly wonderful He is. I invite you to look for those moments when the Lord is personally teaching you of His love, character, patience and long suffering and I promise you that as you find them you will find the Lord. I know that the Lord loves us. I know that he personally cares for each of us. I know that He will do all He can that we may know Him, so that we then share this love with others. Truly, we have a personal God who loves us more than life itself.