For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son,
so that everyone who believes in Him may not perish
but may have eternal life.
Dear Sisters and brothers in Christ,
The Christian life begins and ends with love-in-Jesus. This love is the essence of God and His very presence. We only get little glimpses of it at this side of eternity but it’s real. It’s real, sweet, and wonderful.
I do not know how your spiritual journey began, but my spiritual journey started after I had tasted the sweetness of God’s love through Christian friendship. The words of John 3:16 gave me a new definition of what ‘love’ is and the discipleship gave me this unique experience of sweetness of God’s love.
Like a child, after the first taste of ice-cream; this taste opens our new understanding of what ‘sweetness’ is. The hunger grows within us for more of it taste! As for me, in order to know God’ sweetness, I have decided to search and want more of God into my life. What are the ‘ingredients’ that make God so sweet? How and where can I gain more of this sweetness in life?
However, these passionate feelings and intimate encounters with God sometime faded away. Emotions of failing in love do not last forever. This is the seventh month and nineteenth day that Nathaniel and I, as a team, were called to be with the people of the Black Country through the Vale of Stour Methodist Circuit. I (we) come with an expectation to experience more sweetness of God.
But, with moving house, changing school, building new friendship and fellowship in new church family: life feels as if it is crumbling around us. One particular concern for me was I could not has a suitable school for Nathaniel. Where is the sweetness in life for us here and now? The words of God come back to me:
Little do I know that the sweetness of God can refresh and transform us both when life is flourishing and when it is crumbling around us. We were and are clinging to our past experiences [memory of the sweetness] and standing in the promises of God. Trusting that ‘whoever believe’ and bother to ‘seek, ask and knock’ will be received (John 3:16; Matthew 7:7-12 & Luke 11:9-13). I believe God’s sweetness is available for all and it is free; surely God will (should?) give me more of that sweetness in life.
Therefore, my acts of prayer and fasting in petition gradually turning to be a ‘nagging’! Soon, I found myself ‘clinging too hard’ on Jesus and I was actually ‘wrestling’ with Him. One morning, God spoke to me during my devotion time, ‘Be still and know that I am God’. It was not easy but I answered, ‘Sorry God. But if this is your will…let it be.’ As soon as I put right my relationship with God: let God be God, let me be His child. A miracle happened: I smell that long lost aroma of the sweetness of God, once again! What was amazing was then, on last Friday, a suitable school offers a place for Nathaniel. Praise our Living God!
This, I share with you my mistake during this Lent season, so that you may NOT turn your prayer and fasting into ‘nagging’ nor ‘wrestling’ with Jesus like me. May God guides all your prayer and fasting that they may be a way [a means of grace] for you to put right of your relationship with God and growing in the love of God. As to living in the Spirit, it is about to enjoying the sweetness of God in both good times and challenging times.
Rev. Josephine AM Soon
19 March 2019
- Amblecote Wordsley Methodist Church
- Birch Coppice Methodist Church
- Wesley Methodist Church
- Offering pastoral care to the families that attend the Chilly Kids events
- Friday - study day