Recently, I had the privilege to have some of the most precious members of my family from Panama at my house for a week. It was my sister, Ileana, her son Willy and Nicole, my brother’s daughter who is like my little sister. We had a lot of fun even though we didn’t do much. I feel bad because we didn’t take any trips to see anything other than shopping venues and places to eat, but I believe our time was well spent. We were able to relax in each other’s company and take it easy. It was a big change from the fast-pace life they all lead in the city. We didn’t explore a lot of the sights around, but we sure spent a lot of time talking. We talked about everything, from heavy stuff like family conflicts and how to learn more about the Bible, to the silly gossips of the European royalty…don't ask…
As I look back on the lazy mornings chatting around the breakfast table and the laid back evenings watching movies during that week with my family, I realize that lasting relationships are not built on elaborate planning. They are built on the quality of the time spent together. Thinking about that I discovered that it is the same in our relationship with Christ. Sometimes we become frazzled and obsessed over the idea of having to do things to please God. In reality, however, what He wants from us is…us. He wants us to spend time getting to know Him. He wants us to take the time to be in His presence. He wants us to follow Him.
He doesn’t love us because we do good things. He loves us because He is Good and merciful. He loves us because He is Love…and we love Him and others, because He first loved us. (1 John 4: 19)
He doesn’t ask us for ceremonious good deeds. He asks us for our time. He doesn’t require ritualistic acts of service. He wants the sincerity of our hearts. He doesn’t want us to only remember Him at special occasions. He wants us to celebrate Him in our every-day life. He doesn’t want us to just know about Him. He wants us to know Him personally and to follow him whole-heartedly.
Like with our own family, He knits us together to His Heart by His precious blood. We are hemmed into His garment with unbreakable ties that transcend our actions into our very souls. And nothing could ever separate us from His Love. (Romans 8: 31-39)
At the end of the week, it was deeply painful to see my family go away. A profound sense of loneliness threatened to settle in my heart. The Lord reminded me, however, of all these things. He comforted me with the knowledge that we are bound together with the unbreakable ties of His love, and Love transcends time, space and circumstance.
So, even though we didn’t do anything special during the week we spent together, every minute I get to spend with my beloved family is, indeed, truly special. It is a celebration of love that goes beyond planning and expectation to penetrate the mundane details of our everyday life…and for that, I am most grateful.