I’ve been spending time this morning writing. My new book, God Revealed: Finding God in the Marriage Relationship is almost finished. I’m working on the conclusion. The conclusion of a book is really important. You have filled the reader’s mind with new concepts, challenged his/her way of thinking and perhaps even presented to them a worldview that contrasts with things they’ve always believed. Some of the points you made sank in while they read through the book and other important items or concepts are still shaky in their minds, still vague in their understanding. Some may be confused. A good conclusion can pull things together for a reader, remind them of important concepts and clarify sketchy definitions. Writing that conclusion has been a challenge for me. I’m a teacher, so it’s easy for me to slip into pedantic review. Maybe some of that review needs to happen, but if that’s all I offer, will it really help my readers find clarity? Probably not. So, after a couple of false starts and some time in prayer, I feel I’ve finally found an approach that has let me get started.
Below is an excerpt from a paragraph I wrote this morning. As I reviewed it I was struck with how, in this time of crisis, many people need to hear it’s message. So, I’m posting it here for you to read and pass on as you see fit. I hope it speaks to you.
“My parents raised me to put Christ first in my life. That meant that once in a while, even when I was just a pre-teen boy, I would find myself pondering some of the big questions of the Christian faith, like for instance, “Why did God make us?” I remember asking my mother that question. She was a wise woman and instead of giving me a big, long theological answer, she simply said, “Because He loved us.” Because He loved us! I think my next thought was to wonder how that could be since we didn’t exist at the time, but, in God’s mind, eyes and heart we did exist – and He loved us so much that He followed through and made us! That’s a pretty awesome concept, if you think about it.”
Up until the schools all closed I’ve been substitute teaching and once in a while God opens the door for me to minister to one of our children. Not too long ago I was subbing in a nearby school for a teacher who was quite ill. The students were great, so there wasn’t a lot for me to do other than monitor the class. There was one young lady sitting off to the side by herself who, well, simply looked sad. So, I went over to her, sat down in a chair close by and asked her if she wouldn’t prefer to go join a group so she could get her work done more easily. Then I asked her why she looked so sad. Sometimes it happens that a student will open up to me and that is what happened with this young lady. She did indeed have good reason to be sad. Her story brought tears to my eyes. In the course of the conversation I had shared with her that I was a pastor and she indicated that her family did have some church connections. She did seem to have some understanding about God and His love for us. Picking up on that I encouraged her to hold onto God, to believe in His love for her and to never let go, no matter how long this suffering goes on. Then I promised her that Mrs. Reagan and I would pray for her. She seemed to hear me and as she left the room at the end of the period she gave me a big smile.
That dear young girl needed to hear that message and it made a difference. God loved her so much that he made her. I think many people out there, in this world threatened by a killer virus, need to hear that message. God loved you so much that He decided to go ahead and make you. I’ll say to you the same thing I said to her: “God loves you and no matter how long it takes to get through this, even if it goes on for years, don’t let go of that fact and don’t give up. He is there for you no matter what.”