Field of Daisies, Hancock, Maine
Many of us have carefully plucked petals from daisies hoping to find the answer we want when the last petal is removed…He loves me. He loves me not… She love me. She loves me not…They love me. They love me not…
Although formed as statements, those are really crucial questions! Despite the illogicalness of this playful mind game, we superstitiously continue trying until we receive the answer we want! That activity becomes a metaphor for our hearts which vacillate and wonder as we wade through competing proofs and uncertainties in an attempt to discern the integrity of others and how much of our emotional life should be committed to them. Love is beautiful but can be treacherous with potential for pain and despair. Because of our vulnerability we are tentative until assured.
We evaluate ideas and our deep spiritual longings similarly. We desparately want solutions to the human dilemma but face an array of confusing ideas about purpose and meaning and God. Our distracted minds want facts, but we have fragmented information upon which to build our beliefs. Our questions are many, and so are the various, answering voices which contribute to our indecisiveness and flounderings surrounding issues of faith! We have to be discerners who sort though questions and ideas about origins and cosmic design, about the essence of humanness, about suffering and injustice, and about purpose and meaning in this brief life.
There are a plethora of faith ideas… humanism and its social mores, scientism and its theories, religious philosophies with their guilt inflicted, self effort redemptive ideas about the path to righteousness and eternal bliss. However, it is possible to to be devastatingly disappointed, disillusioned, and unfulfilled by belief systems. Inner peace comes with validation. How many daisies do we have to pick before we are secure and validated by love, hope and assurance?
Jesus’ answer makes sense. It is redemptive and restorative and defines a relationship about which there can never be any doubt. He stepped into humanity and our broken, fallen world where he lived, taught and died to reveal the truth about himself, about God, and about us… the truth that God exists and loves us and that we need His redemption. His conversation with the religious leader Nicodemus directly addressed that truth and those needs:“ For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) That summation in some form or another has been recognized by Kings, Prophets, Psalmists, the Apostles, and his followers. Even our own lives authenticate our need for forgiveness and redemption. We need God’s loving grace:
Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins. (Ecclesiastes 7:20)
Every one of them has turned aside; together they have become corrupt; There is no one who does good, not even one. (Psalm 53:3)
Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you. (Isaiah 54:10)
For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you. (Psalm 86:5)
For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear (revere) him…(Psalm 103:11)
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. (1John 4:9-11)
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! (1 John 3:1)
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)
Some of us as children and even occasionally as adults have sung, “Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tell me so.” There has never been a more profound statement ever –because in him and his sacrifice for us lie unbounded love, forgiveness, redemption, meaning, and eternal hope.
Those who met and believed Jesus no longer had to search the field of faith-options. Their questions were answered by the most wonderful realization in the universe! He loves me….
Neither do we need to insecurely pluck away at the petals, because God, who is rich in mercy will save us by His grace. There is nothing we need do except to trust. (Ephesians 2:4-9)
May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. (Ephesians 3:19)