38: Lessons from the Exit Row
One of the first lessons I learned as a new believer is to not trust your feelings. This was taught to me especially in the area of receiving forgiveness from sin. I memorized 1 John 1:9 and later added verses from Psalm 51 and 103 to reinforce this concept. Regardless of what my emotions tell me, if I confess my sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive my sin and cleanse me from all unrighteousness.
In my ongoing journey as a disciple of Jesus I am applying this same principle to God’s love and affection for me. Irrespective of my own thoughts or feelings about the subject, the word of God informs me that God is crazy about me, on my worst day. And one technique that helps me to overcome my inability to embrace this fact is weather.
I spend a fair amount of time in commercial jets flying to conferences. One of my personal goals when flying is to acquire the exit row for my long legs. Last week I was seated in the window seat in the exit row (poor man’s first class) gazing out across the white puffy clouds beneath the bright blue sky.
It occurred to me that is doesn’t matter what the weather is like when we take off, it is always sunny when you get above a certain altitude. If it is a rainy, cloudy, or wintry day on the ground, the sky is blue, the air is clear, and the sun is shining. I picture heaven like this. Regardless of the weather on earth, all is light, because God is there.
He is the divine constant. He never changes. He is love. He is light. His holy affection for His people is unchanging. He is the father of the prodigal, constantly looking down the road for us. He is the tender shepherd, tending and caring for His sheep.
Malachi 3:6 I am the LORD, and I do not change.
Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
1 John 1:5 God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
He chose us before the creation of the world. He knew us and formed us in our mother’s womb. He is with us always and His love for us will never change. Like the sun that is always shining above the weather of life, God’s love is constant.
Ephesians 1:4 He chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love.
Psalms 139:13 For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
Jeremiah 31: I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.
Matthew 28:20 I am with you always, to the end of the age.
And if I may use one more analogy from the commercial airline world, consider the oxygen mask that falls from the overhead in the event of an emergency. The flight attendants always tell us to secure the orange margarine container to our own mouth first before making sure our children have their oxygen mask on.
I am more and more convinced that the best thing we can do for our children is to breathe the air of God’s unconditional love by believing and receiving the truth from God’s word, and then communicate this love to them.
It is very difficult for us to give grace, until we have experienced grace. But when we are rooted and grounded in His divine affection, and His grace is a reality in our own heart, then we are equipped to truly love others.
May God fulfill this prayer for each of us:
“And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.” Ephesians 3:18
Resting in His Love,