Psalm 119:41 (MSG)
Let your love, God, shape my life.
Word of Hope
I first saw this scripture on a poster. It caught my attention because it expresses my own deep yearning to live my life as an expression of God’s love. I looked it up so I could read the whole Psalm. Much to my dismay, I found the psalm full of praise for God’s law and a whole bunch of self-righteous statements that seemed aimed at convincing God of the writer’s worthiness. Not so inspiring, I thought.
Then I asked, “How would God have responded to such a prayer?” As soon as I look at it from God’s point of view, I am indeed inspired. God would love this earnest heart’s cry, longing to please God and to live a life in service to God as well as possible. I am sure God loved it.
As for living out of love, sometimes it is easy and joyful. Sometimes it is not. Family relationships are often lamented for the “not so easy” category. It is particularly challenging to “love across the isle” when children make different choices about lifestyles, sexuality, religion, etc. Yet, it is their job to do so, for children must always seek to improve the world as they find it. This is especially apparent in teens and young adults. Much to the parent’s dismay, they may reject their parents’ treasured beliefs and sometimes the ones the parents thought were their improvements! It may seem impossible to bridge the gap, but love matters, even when we don’t want it to.
So how do we, as adults, forgive our parents and siblings for not loving us the way we wanted to be loved? How do we forgive ourselves for not loving our parents or siblings, or even our own children? Even if we were abused or abusive, if they abandoned us or we abandoned them, no matter the nature of the pain, I believe it is possible for people and families to heal. God can make a way. Like the Psalmist, we can pray for God to shape our lives with Divine Love. We can be at peace because we trust God.
Dear God, You are patient, kind and loving to all of your children, all of the time. We respond with a commitment to become channels of love to our parents, our children and our siblings. We will love as well as we can. We seek your forgiveness for our failures. Help us to forgive those who have hurt us. We trust you to heal our families. Grant us peace and fill us with joy. Amen
Carole Anne Sarah