October 2009

October Devotional  

the time of pumpkins, corn mazes, and Halloween treats. Now, I know some of you might disagree with celebrating Halloween – and I definitely understand and respect your decision on this – but I think the day is pretty innocuous, all things considered. Unless you’re into pagan worship, which I am definitely NOT, I think it’s just a fun day for kids to dress up and enjoy the fall. I don’t even mind the scary costumes, haunted houses (most of which are just a LOT of makeup and ketchup!), and eerie music.


But there’s something a whole lot spookier than Halloween – and that’s how much God loves us. Honestly, it’s frightening! In a good way, of course. I really don’t understand the depth of His love for us, mere mortals, despite how many times we let Him down and do our own thing. But although we deserve far less, He remains constant, faithful, true to His promises, and a lover of our souls. How alarming is that! How astonishing! How absolutely spooky!


It’s truly impossible to figure out exactly why He does this – except to note that His character IS love and so He is being true to Himself.  Yet, He also exemplifies justice and would be totally justified, in my opinion, to wipe us off the face of the earth and be done with us.  But nooooo.  Instead, He loves us.


And He wants us to know Him and love Him too – intimately, personally. That’s very cool and also quite scary at times – getting to know the one and only God of the Universe.   (And if you think that’s frightening, wait until He starts talking to you!) But as overwhelming as that might seem, God is approachable and wants us to get to know Him deeply. Though we will never completely comprehend Him (His ways and thoughts are not like ours), we can know Him personally, through His Word, the person of Jesus Christ and the power of His Holy Spirit. Just ask Him to reveal Himself more to you, and you will be surprised at how He does just that, in so many big and little ways.


God loves us more than we can ever comprehend. The Psalms say that God delights in every detail of our lives (37:23); He is there for us in times of trouble (46:1); and each day He carries us in His arms (68:19). He holds our hand (73:23); is a merciful forgiver (78:38); filled with unfailing love (103:8); and is tender and compassionate, like a father (103:13). I could go on and on all day about the terrifyingly crazy love God has for His people, because the scriptures are filled with these reminders. But the bottom line is that God just plain loves us to pieces.


And He isn’t willing to give up on us when we fail Him.  I do this frequently when I forget to love someone as Christ loves me (or as I love myself), or selfishly put my own interests before His.  Still, He loves me, is patient with my sinfulness, forgives, and builds me back up. His love is a powerful, healing force in my life.


So maybe the next time you are bobbing for apples, enjoying a walk through crisp autumn leaves, or trick or treating the neighborhood’s costumed creatures, you will remember there is something a whole lot more daunting than ghosts and goblins. It’s the overpowering, awe-inspiring, totally terrific and even terrifying love of God. And maybe you’ll agree too that its depth is so unfathomable and vast … it’s almost spooky!