Today Joe Stearns shared his thoughts about the greatest commandment; to love God and others with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength. He compared it to a great marriage and how it’s with good intentions we commit to that, but fail frequently. 

He also shared about God’s power and our ability to understand why God does what he does in our lives. Much easier to do, after the fact, than during a trial or crisis. I see that in my own life.

In 2 weeks I will have been married for 30 years. As in all marriages, it hasn’t always been easy (when you have 4 kids there’s always some drama), but all in all, but I’d say we’re in the top 5%. I truly believe God planned it all out. I shared last week, that before I was 31 years old, I’d only been to church once, and that was a prerequisite for our wedding. Yes, for 3 decades “religion” was a sour subject, but I was building a faith, that there was a higher power I was praying to, and it started around 5th grade. It’s ironic that my spiritual awaking occurred at that age because I teach our 5th grade Kingdom Kids class on Wednesday mid-week nights. If you ask any of them who my first crush was, they’ll tell you it was Cyndee Pooley. Why do they know that? Because it’s what I share with every new incoming class each September. Cyndee was a young lady that moved into my Northern NJ neighborhood in the beginning of that school year. The first time I saw her, I was frozen and infatuated. I was the youngest in my class and even more shy and intimidated than most in that grade. I would ride my bike back and forth in front of her home multiple times per day hoping to catch a glimpse of her through her large picture window or maybe outside playing with friends (some would call that stalking now). That Halloween I got up the courage to trick or treat at her home. I “borrowed” a sheet from my mother and cut holes in it to be a ghost. She answered the door and knew it was me and I was so embarrassed. I figured if there was a God, prayer was my only hope of Cyndee liking me. For 12 straight months, I prayed nightly that Cyndee would like me back. When 6th grade began the following year, there was dance coming up in the Fall. I was asking God for a miracle, and then it happened. Cyndee’s best friend pulled me aside and shared that Cyndee liked me and wanted to go to the dance with me. At first, I thought she was lying, but it was true. How do you not have faith that there’s a God after that. Our “relationship” lasted a month. It’s amazing that when we love God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength, God displays his power and builds our faith. Whether you’re a shy middle schooler or been married 30+ years, God can do immeasurably more than we hope or imagine.
Have a GREAT week !