"I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Live within my love. When you obey me you are living in my love, just as I obey my Father and live in his love. I have told you this so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your cup of joy will overflow! I demand that you love each other as much as I love you. And here is how to measure it - the greatest love is shown when a person lays down his life for his friends; and you are my friends if you obey me. John 15: 9-14 (TLB)
For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son so that anyone who believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 (TLB)
Enric Ainsa i Puig is from Aragon, Spain. A few months ago, Enric and his wife were at a restaurant with another couple, and they were able to talk with them about their faith. The wife told them that she did not have a relationship with God, and she did not want to have one because she had experienced the tragic deaths of her father and her brother in a car accident years ago. She did not understand how there could be a God, given the pain she and her mother felt from those losses. In that moment, Enric only knew to tell her that he could not imagine the pain they felt but that as a father of two children, he could perceive the depth of their loss.
Days later, during his prayer time, Enric kept asking himself, What answer could I give to that woman and her mother about who God is? Enric felt God telling him that God is not rigid and indifferent. God endures the pain and death of people much like we do. And Enric wished he could have explained that truth to the woman. Because to Enric, God's act of love in sacrificing his son for our sins and the pain of that loss means that God understands and stands with us in our grief. And perhaps the experience of such a painful loss that woman and her mother suffered could help them understand our loving God more deeply.
Prayer: God of love, help us to understand and remain deeply aware of your love for us so we can share your hope with those who are suffering, in your son Jesus' name. Amen.
Even through suffering, I will remember God's love.