CAMPBELLTON, New Brunswick, May 1, 2023 – So here’s the thing about God – there’s nothing you can do or say that he doesn’t already know. In fact, he knows about it before you do it or say it, even those secret thoughts that you almost keep hidden from yourself, the ones that you push down and turn away from. He knows those, too.
And he still loves you.
And here’s the thing about God’s love – it surpasses our understanding. We can know about God’s love, but we can’t know it. We can observe it, but we can’t feel it, not in its full strength. If we genuinely felt the full force of God’s love, it would kill us, like too much voltage passing through a weak wire. We know God’s love indirectly, through his Spirit, who amps it down so it doesn’t overwhelm us. But the full force of God’s love? We’ll have to wait until we get Home to feel that.
Even so, God’s love – however much amped down – is still the most powerful love we’ll ever experience during our time on Earth. Because God’s love is not just an emotion, a mere emotion, it’s a physical force delivered supernaturally as well as naturally. God loves us in everything he does for us, both seen and unseen, both known and unknown. That is genuine love.
God loves us in the same way as Jesus tells us we’re to give alms, not letting the left hand know what the right hand is doing. We’re to give our alms secretly, anonymously, so that our reward comes from God, not from people. That’s how God loves us, so that we don’t know it’s his love that’s loving us. He hides it behind people’s kindnesses and blessings, behind circumstances that seemingly randomly work in our favour. He also hides it behind people’s punishments that seemingly randomly work against us, so that we learn right from wrong – God’s right from wrong – to our eternal benefit.
But nothing is random. There’s no such thing as a random coincidence or ‘luck’, good or bad. There’s only people getting back what they put out, tests and temptations, and divine intervention. Divine intervention happens a lot more frequently than we realize. In fact, it happens every day.
So do the tests.
It is much better to be blessed by God as our reward than to be blessed by people.
And here’s the thing about God’s blessings. They are, like everything God does, perfectly timed and executed. That’s why David tells us to “wait on the Lord”, to rest assured in our heart (“be of good courage”) that God will come through for us so that we have nothing to fear. We should always be waiting expectantly for God to come through for us. Coming through for us is God’s job, his specialty, but he does it in his time and in his way. Our job is to wait for him, and to do so expectantly, with no doubt and no fear. This is how we’re to spend the rest of our time on Earth.
Easier said than done, that. To wait patiently and expectantly, with no doubts or fears. I’ve been traveling a lot by trains lately. Canadian trains. They arrive when they feel like it and wander off when something up ahead catches their eye. German and Swiss trains blush to think of all the train etiquette violations committed by Canadian trains, the worst of which is nonchalance towards The Schedule. Even boarding times on Canadian trains are done by pulling numbers out of a hat, or so it seems. A scheduled boarding time of 18:25 for a 19:00 departure really means you’ll start boarding at around 18:50ish and leave at around 19:30ish. And if you question the gross violation of scheduling, the train just stares at you blankly as if to say: “So waddya gonna do about it?” Arriving 24 hours late is the norm for ultra-long-distance trains in Canada (from Toronto to Vancouver), and anything less than 6 hours behind schedule means the train is early.
I wish I were joking.
But taking Canadian trains, especially the ultra-long-distance ones, is good practice for learning to wait on God. That’s not to say that God doesn’t keep to The Schedule; he certainly does. Everything God does he does perfectly, and that includes timing. It’s just that we aren’t privy to God’s Schedule. Even Jesus and the holy angels aren’t privy to it. Canadian trains may well work the same way – they have a publicly announced schedule and a Real Schedule that only the Canadian trains know. (And they ain’t tellin’!)
So we trust in Canadian trains the same way we trust in God (or vice-versa), knowing that while their timing may be mysterious, they’ll come through in the end.
Our job is to wait patiently and expectantly.
Our job is to wait.
Wait on the Lord
Be of good courage and he will strengthen thine heart.
Wait, I say, on the Lord.