His Love Endures Forever

I think every person in this world would feel the same about this year. Choose one bad adjective and most likely it would be applicable to describe this year: dark, gloomy, sad, bitter, boring, desolate, eerie, depressing, cruel, deadly… This year’s situation has caused us to become erratic, abrasive, distasteful, distant, cold, numb, rude, stressed, sour, angry, rotten…Very negative. 

If life is a book, this is the part where the hero of the story got beaten up, and everything that can go wrong, goes wrong. Our hero got pushed to the edge between existence and nonexistence and they are barely hanging. We don’t like this part. Even though, deep down, we know that the thing that makes a good story in a novel is the conflict that the character must go through otherwise, the book will not worth reading. But this time, we just want to move forward to the next chapter because this part of this life’s story has been too dark for far too long. The gloom and doom have been lingering for pages and pages long almost without any hint of the conflict resolution for the hero of the story. If you’re like me, for sure you can hardly wait to flip the page of this part of the story and move on to the part where the hero’s fate is about to be turned around toward goodness. 

As we are waiting for the turning of the year, if you have a chance, read the entire Psalm 136. Read it carefully and you will find that every action from creation through liberation to ongoing providence is motivated by the compassion of the Almighty. One can conclude: if there is a reason for everything, it must somehow be connected to the everlasting love of God. 

The psalmist recorded all the things God had done to their lives starting from the beginning of creation. “God who made the heavens, who spread out the earth upon the waters,  who made the great lights— the sun, the moon and stars…” to the history of people of Israel. The psalmist wanted to acknowledge the God who did everything in his power to love his people. In other words, the psalmist wanted to say: the story of humanity is actually God’s story. Our story is God’s story. And that is the heart of Psalm 136.  Only by his grace, by his love, and by his kindness can we exist until today. God set the whole universe in order, he put the sun, moon, and the stars in the sky, giving us humans a perfect space for us to live.  The great empire of Egypt could’ve crushed us in a second with its power, we could’ve died during 40 years of wandering in the wilderness, the great kings of the world could easily pulverize our tiny nation, but the mighty hands of God would always be with us protecting us from any danger.  The Hebrews shouts: ki le’olam chasdo, his love endures forever. Yes!

Thomas Merton says something in the same sentiment: “To be grateful is to recognize the love of God in everything He has given us — and He has given us everything. Every breath we draw is a gift of His love, every moment of existence is grace, for it brings with us immense graces from Him.” Isn’t that the truth? If we want to trace every single event, every single moment, and every single breath, we can smell the aroma of God’s love throughout the history of our life.

I love Agatha Christie’s crime novels. I believe I have read most of her 70 novels. Each time I pick up her book, I know that my mind will be stirred and I will have to deal with a crime, a mystery, the tension between characters, and some disturbing events. But I also know that in the end, no matter how complicated the case, at the end the hero of the story will always be able to solve the case, find the culprit, bring them to justice, and bring peace to all. I know for sure about the ending because I know Agatha Christie’s way of writing. If we believe that God is the great author of our life, then we know that the end of our story, no matter how chaotic and doomed, will be a good one. Then, all we have to do is trust him enough to let him finish the story.  

So friends, say it to yourself,  repeat the phrase, memorize it: His love endures forever! When you are tempted to despair, ponder this thought: His love endures forever. When you want to give up, write this thought down and stick it on your dashboard: His love endures forever. Tell your husband: His love endures forever. Tell your wife: His love endures forever. Tell your children:  His love endures forever.  When you’ve had all you can take, when the world seems collapsing around you, stand up, lift your head, and shout to the skies: His love endures forever! No matter what’s going to happen this upcoming new year: His love endures forever. If the new year is going to bring us so much hope and restoration: His love endures forever. If the new year is going to challenge us even further: His love endures forever.  Consider how he has led you thus far. Think of the many promises he has made to walk with us in good times and bad times, even when we are down in the valley of the shadow of death.. . His love endures forever! 

 

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine on us. Happy New Year, my friends. 

 

Love and prayers, 

Vincent Arishvara 12312020