Daily Reflection
May 25th, 2000
Steve Kline
Public Relations
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Acts 15:7-21
Psalms 96:1-3, 10
John 15:9-11

"God, who reads the hearts of men . . . "

". . . why . . . put God to the test?"

"All this I tell you that my joy may be yours and your joy may be complete."

* * *

How's this for a marvelous deed?

God reads my heart, knows me more intimately than I know myself.  He knows the stuff I want Him to know:  That I long for Him sometimes in a way that just hurts.  He knows that I worship and praise Him.  He knows that I tell my children about Him.  He knows that deep in my core lives a spiritual being who trusts God with everything.

Unfortunately, I live too near the surface and don't spend much time at my core.  I think that's because at my core, I know that God knows all of the stuff I don't want Him to know:  He knows the ugly, selfish, greedy, dark and furtive me.  He knows all of the pieces of me that I think I am hiding, from you and from Him.  And from myself.

I stare in the mirror and tell myself:  God knows everything about you, everything you've ever done or thought. 

So what's marvelous?

It's marvelous that God wants all of me.  I wonder if it tests Him that I resist Him so.  Sometimes, I wonder if the yearning pain that I feel has anything to do with God's irresistible desire for me and my obstinate resistance. 

I spend sleepless nights with God.  We have these 2 and 3 a.m. wrestling matches, where I try to get it all straight:  God is love, and He loves me the way I love my own children.  There's a thing I can get my arms around.  I know that kind of love.  I get it.

But getting it isn't the point.  I'm not sure I'll ever learn that.  Why can't I just be loved, and rest?  Here is Jesus, telling me in today's Gospel that all He wants for me is to live in God's love.  And how does He convey that?

He says He wants my joy to be complete.

My JOY!?

When was the last time that I even gave half a thought to my joy?  Yet here is Jesus, telling me that my joy just might be the point of it all. 

Joy.  JOY!

Not responsibility.

Not duty.

Not accomplishment.

Not even prayer, love, compassion or sacrifice.


Jesus.  You take my breath away.

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