“May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.” (2 Thessalonians 3:5)
This is Paul’s prayer for the Thessalonian church in a letter which encourages them not to veer from the truth.
They, like us, are on a path of faith which takes them down many puzzling detours. We don’t always know why things happen the way they do, but if we’re to ‘stay the path’ in life, we need hearts strengthened by love.
I like the thought of asking God to ‘direct my heart’ into his love. We so often allow people and things other than God to erect road signs on our highway. These deafening voices can stop us from hearing God – from receiving his love and grace. But we must fight against the lies and detours if we’re to keep moving forward in life. We must seek his wisdom for friends, study and work, and allow God to direct our hearts into his ever-flowing river. We must choose to surrender to him alone…
And we must know this – that “neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38)
Nothing can take his love away.
The second part of the verse talks about the perseverance of Christ. And we cannot persevere, or be patient with our journey, without love. It’s his love that keeps us travelling well. It’s his love that reminds us we’re never alone. And it’s his love that promises an eternity with him at the end of this long and winding road.
So today I choose to wade into the love that’s available to me. Not because of anything I’ve done, but because of everything he’s already done. I’m so glad it’s not up to me. I’m so glad it’s unconditional, because I fall so short of his perfect standard. I’m so grateful I serve a God who, because of his son’s death on the cross and resurrection, overlooks my flaws and sees instead his work of grace in me.
This day I choose to stay the path, embrace the journey, and accept the love.