This week’s guest blogger is our office manager/youth leader/event planner/keep the pastor on task-er Sally Genest. Enjoy!
When we were younger, my brother Sam and I were each other’s best friends. We spent every day, every hour together. So of course there were moments when we didn’t get along so well. When that happened, my mom would send us to our rooms and tell us when we were ready to apologize and act like human beings, we could come out.
Now, I’m not saying I’m perfect, but I’m sure I was always the first one out of my room, not able to contain my forgiveness towards Sam, since I was never the one who needed to apologize. And when we finally came together, for the final act, my mom would make us hug. Have you ever hugged someone who was driving you nuts at that precise moment? Yeah…that’s what it was like.
Throughout my life, the ongoing theme of reconciliation was expressed by actively pursuing the restoration of relationships.
Growing up in church I was always aware of the steps I had to take to get in God’s ‘good graces’. Prayer, mass, service, confession communion, rinse and repeat. The relationship with God was lost for me in the pursuit of a religious ritual.
Years later, I read Romans 5:8,10. “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!” I ALWAYS take note when there is an exclamation point in the Bible.
Quite simply, I was an enemy of God, but when Jesus died, I became His friend. Jesus built a bridge between me and my Father. All I had to do was cross it. To reconcile is a verb, an action. I have to actively seek to be in relationship with God. Not through my actions, even though my actions should echo my relationship with him, but through my faith. I have to accept what he did for me, for us.
Unfortunately, I still struggle with the idea that the God who created the galaxies, the sun and moons, the mountains and seas, wants to be in relationship with me. He wants this so much that he not only allowed his son to die a horrible death, he sent him! Try as I might, I have a hard time wrapping my brain around this. As a mother, I couldn’t imagine putting my children in harm’s way, just for a friendship. Especially with someone who will turn their back on me, mess up and hurt me over and over again. Friendships are often cast aside because one person feels slighted. Relationships are broken because of lying or cheating. But God wants us to be reconciled with him…after we slight him. After we lie and cheat. After we turn our backs on him.
So what do I do to help myself own this truth? I wake up every morning, and intentionally cross the bridge to relationship that Jesus built for me. I thank Him for what he has already done, and what he continues to do, for allowing me to choose being his friend instead of his enemy. And I pray, and will continue praying all my life, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24)