Sunday, November 8, 2009

Cherish (Ps 16:11)

In a book I once read, I remember the author looking across the dinner table at his wife and, in a moment of extreme vulnerability, asking her “Is there anything I could do to be a better husband?” As his wife drew into a pensive mood, he wondered if perhaps she could be rewinding all those horrible husband moments to lay on the table as a prelude to squaring the accounts. After what seemed like an eternity to him, but was actually only a brief moment, she looked at him and said “Just cherish me a little more.”

Feeling pretty pleased with himself, the writer purred, “That’s what I do. Can you give me a specific way I can cherish you more?” Immediately came not one but three examples, “Affirm my opinions,” the wife said, “Don't get upset so easily,” and finally “Be kind and considerate to me.” As I was reading the wife’s rejoinders, I could not help thinking that perhaps that is what Jesus might say to me if I were to think too highly of my love for him. Probably my wife too might be keeping these three examples for her moment with me one day.

When we say we love someone that person’s interests and priorities becomes ours too. When Jesus was on earth, he never failed to model this, manifesting his love for his Heavenly Father by putting his Heavenly Father’s will first. We need to remember that it is very important to reflect this perspective of faith in the way we live our lives. Do we consider our Lord’s will in ALL that we do or do we selectively decide the matters that we consult him on? Do we accept READILY and not get upset when his voice jolts us out of our comfort zone to take that leap of faith? Do we consider his feelings FIRST or do our own feelings have pre-eminence in our own lives? After asking these questions, I must admit that I find it hard to answer in the positive.

The word “cherish” is a very beautiful word carrying with it heart-warming images of love, care, affection, tenderness, protection, etc. In fact, when I read of God’s love in the Bible, I have no doubt that his love for us is also a cherishing kind of love, a love that makes each one of us the ‘apple of his eye’. We can never return his love measure for measure but the least we can do is to cherish and hold dear the relationship his grace and love has made possible for us.

How do we show that we do really cherish this relationship? I believe a good starting point is submission to his sovereignty. In all that we do, we submit to his approval and review and we await his correction, not his rubber-stamp. We cultivate a mindset of dependence on him. The attitude of dependence should not be difficult because we are always dependent on someone throughout our daily lives. When we take the bus or train, we depend on the driver’s ability. When we take our lunch, we depend on the cook’s ability so why not also engraft this ready attitude of dependence into our relationship with God. After all, right at the beginning, he already knows how the end will turn out. He has already factored in all the possibilities, and his option is always the best. So then, why not hold dear the relationship we have with him by submitting dependently to his ways and thoughts? When we do so, we will be able to echo confidently the words of the Psalmist in Psalm 16:11 “You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”

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