8 “The Lord is merciful and compassionate,
very patient, and full of faithful love.
9 The Lord is good to everyone and everything;
God’s compassion extends to all his handiwork!”
How is it that God can love everything and everyone?
It’s beyond our comprehension. Even beyond our imagination.
When we ponder the incredible inhumanity of humanity – the injustice, hatred, and violence people carry out toward one another on a daily basis, it’s only natural for us to ask ourselves, “how can God possibly love them?”
Let’s be honest, though. If we looked critically at our own lives, our own selves, and our own sins, wouldn’t we also ask: “How can God love me?” Many of us struggle with that question everyday. How do I know that? How else can you explain why “Amazing Grace” is such a well-beloved hymn? I think it hinges on this line, a line we all find ourselves in now and again: “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me…”
Next time you find yourself thinking angry, judgmental thoughts about someone, take a moment to consider how God has loved and cared for you, even when you thought yourself most unlovable. Through the kind words or actions of a stranger, through a sense of calm in the storm, through a seemingly miraculous way out of difficulty – remember how God’s mercy, compassion, faithfulness and love surrounded you.
God is good to everyone and everything – even wretches like us!
By Joe Monahan
For Pondering & Prayer
Can you remember a time when God’s love for you felt so real that you were absolutely overcome with gratitude? This is the experience that John Newton, the former slave trader, wrote about in “Amazing Grace.” It’s also reminiscent of the “heartwarming” experience of Methodism’s founder, John Wesley.
Prayer: Jesus, we thank you for your great love for all people – and especially us. May your grace and mercy for us shape our love towards everyone and everything. Amen.