Thursday, December 15, 2011

God's Enduring Covenant

"Though the mountains leave their place and the hills be shaken, my love shall never leave you nor my covenant of peace be shaken,  says the LORD, who has mercy on you." - Is 54:10

The great news of our faith is that God makes an enduring covenant with us. Unlike many business and marriage arrangements, this covenant is more than a contract. A contract can be revoked if one party does not fulfill the terms of the agreement. A covenant can be sustained by the fidelity of one member, even if other parties fall short. The strength of our relationship with God lies with God's faithfulness and not with our failures and weaknesses.

In the 27 years of intentional relationship with God, I have faltered countless times. I have allowed my selfishness, past pains, present attachments, or fears about the future to overshadow God's enduring acceptance and love for me, and for everyone around me. To win me back, God shows tough love through many creative ways. Like good parents, God allows me to suffer the consequences of my foolish choices; God withdraws God's tangible presence in my life to deepen my longing for God and purify my lesser desires; God gives me opportunity to learn patience and trust in answering my prayers for those very virtues; God allows me to suffer by carving out greater space in my life and relationships for a more enduring love, like God's. Through all these ways, I gradually grow in shifting from focusing on myself and my abilities or failures. God's committed love is the bedrock of my striving to be faithful. When I behold God's consistent fidelity to me, I can imagine upholding my commitments. When I look at my parents' 49 years of committed love or a brother Jesuit's 50 years of priesthood, I experience hope.

Large earthquakes do happen in our lifetime. Life changing events, like major earthquakes, do shake us: loved ones do die, friends can leave us, significant losses and poignant suffering do visit us. Yet, geological processes that move mountains and elevate hills rarely happens. Even if they did, God's faithfulness and love endures. This is God's promise to us. 

Have God ever been unfaithful to you? What happens within when you recall the ways in which you have been loved or cared by God or others in your life? Get in touch with this.

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