When we truly, deeply love someone, we’re easily pleased with their gifts. They could give us a rock and we’d treasure it—because it’s from them. If their heart’s in it, our heart responds. I wondered: How pleased am I with what God gives me? What does that say about our relationship? And how does He respond to what I offer Him?
Sometimes action has to precede emotion. Sometimes we have to trust the power of obedience to shape us, instead of trying to get ourselves in shape to obey.
It sounds obvious, yet sometimes we seem to forget. We get caught up in work, routines, and family duties and relegate friendship to luxury status. Or we get plunged into pain or struggle and try to soldier on alone. We think we have to do it, that our burdens are ours alone to carry, that no one can ever understand, that no one should ever have to share our struggle.
We can’t always control the way we feel in contentious situations. But with God’s help, we can control how we respond.
Yes, trouble may chase us. Pain may nag us. Sorrow might ambush us again and again. Guilt and shame may nip at our heels. But the only things that can keep up with us, day in and day out, all the days of our lives, are the goodness and faithful love of God. And like the Good Shepherd He is, He will send them after us relentlessly. No, scratch that – He’ll come after us Himself, bringing them with Him. Because that’s who He is.
You'd be surprised how many other important qualities and experiences worth having hinge on this one attitude.