We are affected by our respect for other people, and how they perceive the world. This was part of the Clappometer post, and Living Precariously.
It is so clear when you meet grieving families. There is the shadow of ‘how can we cope without her or him,’ but sometimes, even there and then, there is already the knowledge that that sustaining love that drove that relationship continues, even in their absence, and will inform life to come.
It is a fact of the Christian life that we love someone who has died. Jesus. The fact of that love for him, active in our lives, is breath-taking – or really breath-giving. If you give it space and oxygen.
Did you expect the presence of the Holy Spirit to give such life-affirming freedom, in whatever circumstances we may find ourselves? Do you expect it? Paul lived with that reality and nurtured it.
Hebrews talks about a cloud of witnesses who encourage us to run the race. A couple of chapters before there is a simple verse that underlies the closeness of God’s relating to us. ‘The just shall live by faith: but if any person draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.”
That may not strike you immediately as very positive. But look again.
You are reminded you have a new life, one that runs on faith. And like a parent watching you as you learn to ride a bike, running alongside you, steadying you subtly when necessary, but most importantly delighting with you as you discover those skills being exercised and becoming familiar. Taking great pleasure in you.
And sharing your disappointments. When not having the opportunity to take pleasure, persevering. Not giving up. God doesn’t write us off, but waits to start afresh with enthusiasm.
He doesn’t slumber or sleep, but remains with you.
Respect him. And delight yourself in him. And will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37)