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Girlfriends in God - Sept. 27, 2010

  • 2010 Sep 27
  • COMMENTS

 

September 27, 2010

Love Covers it All

Mary Southerland

 

Today's Truth

1 John 4:8-10 "But anyone who does not love does not know God--for God is love. God showed how much he loved us by sending his only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love. It is not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins." 

Friend to Friend

When I was a little girl, I often went grocery shopping with my mother, hoping to snag a treat or two for myself. Mama shopped at one particular grocery store for one reason alone. They handed out S&H green trading stamps with each purchase. Let me just say that my Mama was all about collecting those small, green stamps. She was one of the hardest working women I have ever known. In fact, she sometimes worked two or three jobs at a time to put food on the table. Collecting S&H green stamps was simply a way to get a little more for her money. My job was to lick the stamps and stick them in the S&H green stamp books. I can still taste that nasty glue! I then placed the books in a wooden chest where Mama kept her "stash."

 

For months, she hoarded the small, green stamps until she had enough to trade for something we needed. Yes, it was always something we needed until one particular Saturday in December. "Get the green stamp books," she said. "We are going to town!" I noticed an unusual excitement in her voice and assumed we were going to trade the stamps in to buy a Christmas present for someone in our family. Mama rarely redeemed the stamps for something she wanted. That seemed to be a luxury we could not afford and a splurge she would not allow for herself. Stamps in hand, off we went to find a treasure.

 

When we reached the redemption center, Mama parked the car and with great resolve, marched straight in, totally ignoring the appliance section, past all of the toys, skipping the aisle where small electronics, hairdryers and vacuums were displayed, and made a beeline for the linens department. I had a sinking feeling that my idea of a treasure did not match my mother's idea of a treasure.

 

Unlike most of our trips to the redemption center, Mama did not take her time to look around and weigh her options. It was obvious that she was on a mission and would not be deterred! Suddenly, she stopped, a smile spreading across her face as she gazed at an item on the shelf. "It's still here!" she whispered in relief.

 

I remember thinking that whatever she had spotted must be very special to warrant such determination, such joy and a whole lot of stamp glue. When I realized that the blue treasure she clutched in her hands was just a tablecloth, I simply did not understand. I mean, there were so many other beautiful things in the store she could have chosen. I had tasted and pasted a lot of stamps for a tablecloth? What was so special about an ordinary tablecloth? I was confused - until we got home.

 

Our family was poor - in material things - and we lived in what most people would refer to as a "shack" out on the edge of a small, Texas town. My mother was an amazing woman who somehow managed to raise three children after my father died of a heart attack. Honestly, I don't think we ever realized how poor we really were or considered ourselves to be deprived. Many happy times and scrumptious meals were enjoyed around our old, scratched, worn and downright ugly dining room table. That dilapidated table dominated the entire room with ugliness - until the day Mama bought the blue tablecloth.

 

I watched as she carefully removed the cloth from its hard, plastic package and began to unfold her treasure. Now, my mother could "snap" a bed sheet or tablecloth with the best of them. I can still hear that sound as she whipped the blue cloth in front of her to straighten out any wrinkles and let it slowly float through the air, finally settling on the dining room table. As she smoothed her treasure across that shabby table, an amazing thing happened. Not only did the table look beautiful, the whole room looked better! 

 

Love is like that, its mere presence transforming the ugliness of a broken life into a beautiful trophy of grace. Love covers the scars of sin. Love heals old wounds and eases the pain of the past. We all need to be loved and we all need to love.

 

Jesus was and is the living illustration and certain fulfillment of His Father's love. The love of God is unconditional, unfailing and will stubbornly pursue us no matter where we go, what we do or don't do. We cannot earn God's love because then, it would be wages paid for work done. We will never be good enough to deserve the love of God because God's love is holy and pure … and we aren't. God's love is a gift. All we can do is accept it and rest in Him. God's love satisfies the deepest longings of our soul and enables us to love ourselves and others.

 

Friend, across your defeats spread the hope and promise of a tiny baby lying in a manger. Across your pain, spread the unconditional love poured out for you on a cruel cross. Across your doubts and fears, spread the promise of an empty tomb and a coming King. The love of God changes everything. God's love covers it all.

 

Let's Pray

God, I need Your love. My life is filled with scars and wounds that can be healed by Your love alone. I celebrate the love You so freely offer. I accept the gift of Your love and thank You for its transforming power in my heart and life. I love You, Father, and celebrate Your presence and power in my life. 

In Jesus' name,

Amen.

 

Now It's Your Turn

What past experiences in your life need the covering of God's healing love? Right now, make the decision to face and deal with those experiences in God's timing and God's way. 

 

  • Why do we bury hurt and pain?
  • With what have you tried to "cover" the painful parts of your life? Did it work? Why? Why not?
  • What does it really mean to allow God's love to cover the sin and pain in your life?
  • What is the first step or action that you need to take in the process of allowing God to heal the broken places?

More from the Girlfriends

Getting past our past is a crucial step toward living a victorious life. God cannot fill hearts and hands that still clutch the pain of the past. Let go! Walk straight ahead into the love and transforming power of God.

 

Need help? I can't believe I am even writing these words, but the holidays are just around the corner! I can already feel the stress that is just around that same corner. If you want to find God's answer for stress, check out my book, Escaping the Stress Trap, for steps you can take to help you live in peace.

 

Check out Mary's FREE MPs or visit her online store for great deals on books, CDs,

E-Bible Studies and her DVD, Strength for the Storm.

 

Join women from across the world in Mary's Online Bible Study, Light for the Journey. A new study begins October 4:  When an Ordinary Woman Meets an Extraordinary God. When you enroll, you also have access to all of the 2010 studies. Check it out!

 

Need a friend? Connect with me on Facebook or through email. I love hearing what God is doing in your life! Tell me how praising God has made a difference in your life. Let's talk about it, girlfriend!

 

Seeking God?
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Girlfriends in God
P.O. Box 725
Matthews, NC 28106
info@girlfriendsingod.com
www.girlfriendsingod.com

Click here to learn more about hosting a Girlfriends in God conference in your area or having one of the GiGs speak at your next women's event.

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