This is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. 1 John 4:10
Baby it's you! You're the one I love. You're the one I need. You're the only one I see. Come on baby it's you! You're the one that gives your all. You're the one I can always call. When I need you make everything stop. Finally, you put my love on top.
They say troubles come in multiples. For me, three is the magic number. That’s when I call it. See, the first incident could be merely coincidence. The second occurrence may be just plain bad luck, By the third event, I know that I am the recipient of a full-fledged, out and out attack that is supernatural. It’s usually at that point the devil is identified and he runs screaming like the little punk he is. (Yes, he is – we don’t owe him any reverence.) Picture him as the wicked witch of the Wizard of Oz after having a bucket of water thrown on her by Dorothy. “You’ve destroyed all of my beautiful wickedness,” the witch cries as she melts into nothing. It’s a comical scene when you think about it, but in reality, it’s not amusing. He doesn’t like to be called out. He wants us to think it is people who hate us, events are conspiring against us, or even that God doesn’t want us to be happy. That they are the enemy when all the time it is he, the evil one, who is at work. He is the spiritual wickedness that influences those who sit in high places.
The Bible promises us that the troubles we encounter are only those common to man. In other words, they happen to everyone at some time or another. We shouldn’t think it strange or unusual that it would eventually come for us in some shape, form or fashion. We may feel our troubles are unique. However, heartbreak is not. It is our common denominator, no matter our station in life. But with every trial, there is a way of escape given to us; the means to not necessarily undo what has happened but to transcend your circumstances, to rise above that situation. It is then that we can see that there may be a higher purpose for our trouble, a lesson to be learned. His ultimate goal is even sometimes revealed during our tribulation. So the way out is to change our focus, to see the One who is in control and to trust His plan.
So I’ve had my three recently – troubles that is – and I recognized the devil behind the curtain, manipulating events to discourage me. Then one day as I was driving Love on Top played on my car radio. That song had me grinning, singing along and bouncing in my seat. (It’s so much fun to sing along – not to mention the dance moves in the video were borrowed from New Edition’s If It Isn’t Love, another fave.) It has become my personal anthem, a love song from me to God. I riffed along with Beyoncé: “Baby it’s YOU!” I realized that in the midst of whatever is troubling me, my constant is God. My love for Him, supersedes everything because it helps me to endure and overcome anything. One of the most wretched feelings in the world is to feel like the object of your desire doesn’t return the sentiment. But I am sure of His steadfast love for me. Nothing can separate us. No-thing. I hear myself saying to Him as Bella said of Edward (of Twilight fame) – It’s Edward! It’s always been Edward! Poor Jacob never had a chance (LOL) because she had met THE love of her life. And so it is with me, no other god – be it money, worry (or worries about money), jealousies, envy, pride, job (or the loss thereof) – no other god can stand before my God. As was said of The Highlander: There can be only one! (I know that’s two movie references but I couldn’t resist! BTW – did you catch the shout out to Schoolhouse Rock?)
Which brings me to Good Friday, the day leading up to Resurrection Sunday – the holy day formerly known as Easter (nod to Prince). We honor the sacrifice of the one who loved us enough to die in our place so that we could have a chance at restoration. The One who put our love on top and made our salvation a priority. He is the only one who could have done it. I’ve heard folks mention other deities that have similar lore of a virgin birth and a god who died. But Jesus is the One who, as my sister loves to say, “loved us so much, he put his life on it!” He didn’t just die, he did it with purpose, executing a plan to save us which was set in motion from the foundation of the world. He put us first. God’s thoughts are always towards us, his creation. I know this. I see it in nature and how he carefully cultivated our living environment, anticipating our every need before he even created man, his crowning achievement, to oversee the world. We remain, to this day the apple (or center) of His eye.
I’m sure of some things in life. Troubles come and go. Everybody gets a turn. “But I know! (in ma Beyoncé voice)!” Jesus is the One I love. He’s the only One I know I need for certain. I see Him in everything, even a secular song, and gladly receive the confirmation of our love. I know He is working it out for my good. He gives me more than I asked for, more than I could ever imagine or conceive. I call on Him during times of distress, habitually. And He has answered my prayers repeatedly. It’s no wonder I can say with such joy, “Jesus it’s YOU!”