Almost every morning as I take my cup of coffee and sit down in my prayer chair, ready to meet with God, my Ragdoll cat Lukas stands watching from across the room. Within moments he had leapt into my lap and settled down with a loud purr and a stretch. He exhibits a confident knowing of what is waiting for him — his morning supply of fond affection. As my right hand opens my Bible, my left hand strokes his fur and scratches his belly. Instead of closing his eyes and dozing off, he keeps his gaze fixed on me and his eyes show me his great appreciation for this fond display of affection.
There are many mornings when I let my gaze meet his and linger there awhile. In those moments, I’m thinking less about Lukas and more about the way I approach God. Am I anxious for my morning meeting with God? Do I leap into His presence with a confident knowing of what is waiting for me there? Do I long to receive His touch? Do I fix my eyes on Him and let Him know how grateful I am for His fond affection for me? Do I realize each morning just how crazy God is for me?
Songwriter John Mark McMillan describes the crazy-good love God has for us in these lyrics from his song, “Oh How He Loves Us”:
He is jealous for me, loves like a hurricane, I am a tree Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy When all of a sudden I am unaware of these afflictions Eclipsed by glory and I realize just how beautiful You are And how great Your affections are for me Oh, how He loves, yeah, He loves us Oh, how He loves us, oh, how He loves us Oh, how He loves
The beauty of relationship is that fond affection isn’t a one-way street. If it is, that’s not real relationship. As God demonstrates His fond affection for me, I am compelled to return His love. Do I demonstrate fond affection for God? Do I tell my Kind Savior Jesus how much I really love Him? Do I demonstrate just how crazy I am for Him?
- Jesus spoke of this requirement for those who seek to follow God in Matthew 22, 27-28 when He reminded us, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment.”
- And in Proverbs 8:17, we have evidence that God is moved by our demonstrations of fond affection for Him when He said, “I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently will find me.”
- In Psalm 91:14 He speaks of the reward of those who love Him, “Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name.” Paul continues this theme of the reward for those who love God in 1 Corinthians 2:9 as tells us, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him “
So today, I have fixed my gaze on God and found Him watching me, waiting for me to return to Him the fond affection He continually demonstrates for me. How about you? Did you leap into His lap this morning before the many details of this day piled your own lap full to overflowing? Did you receive His display of fond affection for you? And have you yet returned that sweet affection to Him? Did you tell Him — are you showing Him — just how much you truly love Him?
I’ll close with these words of Paul from Ephesians 6:24 which make one final point in today’s message — “Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.”
After more than 25 years in parish ministry, Rev. Cathie retired in early 2018 to pursue a quieter life with her husband Philip in the mountains of Central Oregon. Although no longer a leader in congregational life, she continues to follow her calling and passion to minister to those who suffer, especially those with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.