I remember last New Year’s Eve. I was SO excited for 2020 to arrive. Oh, the hopes and plans I had for this year! Little did I know we would have a pandemic…
How many of your plans were derailed? Did the pain and sorrow of the year draw you closer to Him, or just bring more questions? Or did the pandemic bring a little of both, as it did for me. When the world got to be too much, that’s when I have to get out and connect with God in nature. What a blessing my solitary walks have been this year! After listening to the cries of the world, these quiet walks allowed me to feel the healing grace of God and give me time to listen to His “still small voice” and feel the mighty power of His peace.
I’ve also been blessed by some other voices from God’s chosen. Through podcasts or audio books, I’ve been listening to preachers past and present. Current preachers like Rick Warren, Charles Stanley, David Jeremiah, and Max Lucado help me see the current world through God’s eyes. Past works of A.W. Tozer, Martin Luther King, Jr., Norman Vincent Peale, and Charles Spurgeon helps me find a deeper understanding of my place in God’s kingdom. But sometimes even their words are too much, so I turn on my audiobook of the Bible and listen to the Word itself, stopping only to inhale the fresh air while God’s words sink in.
All these voices help encourage me to show peace, love, and kindness to my neighbor.
At times these quiet voices are drowned out by the yelling, anger, and fear from the many crisis happening in the world today. These cries for help do need our fervent prayers and helping hands, but we can’t forget the still, small voices pleading with us, “…Love thy neighbor…Love thy neighbor…”
At times these quiet voices are drowned out by the yelling, anger, and fear of the many crisis happening in the world today. These cries for help do need our fervent prayers and helping hands, but we can’t forget the still, small voices pleading with us, “…Love thy neighbor…Love thy neighbor…”
Why should we? Besides being a commandment to follow, by showing love to my neighbor, We’re giving an extension of the true, wholehearted love we have for God. The neighbor Christ spoke of in the book of Matthew is every person. As Christians, we believe every person is made in the image of God. Therefore, Jesus expects us to love every person.
If you listen closely, the quiet voices are still there, spreading the infinite love and compassion of Christ to those who don’t think like us, those who don’t look like us, and those who don’t believe as we believe. Harboring no ill will and bringing no agenda except love, these quiet voices continue to share the peace they have found. The peace that passes all understanding.
You and I can be that peace the world needs in 2021: We can choose to love thy neighbor.
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. This is the first and great commandment,” He told them. “And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’”(Matthew 22:38–39)