As we have now drawn our series on the apostle’s creed to a close, as we transition into an intentional time of Advent, and as we take time this Thanksgiving week to appreciate all that we have, I wanted to keep this week’s devotional simple.
As we look back on all that we have heard, learned, and discussed over this year, I am sure there is an abundance of stories, revelations, and pivotal moments of discovery when it comes to our understanding of God.
But, just like riding a bike, playing an instrument, or any other life skill, learning in our heads (although important) only gets us so far. We can watch or listen to instructions on how to ride a bike all day long, but eventually for our brains to make the connections with our bodies, we still need to peddle.
Even as Jesus was performing miracles, we still find these moments where Jesus invites people into an exercise of trust. Whether it was reaching out a hand, taking up a mat, or walking on water, Jesus always invited His followers to put their faith in action and trust that He would provide exactly what they need.
That is why a true understanding of “love” is that it is not just a feeling or commodity. Love is a responsive action. Love is a connection. So, learning more about someone does not equate to more love unless that knowledge is followed by action. As Matt Tebbe puts it, “we learn love through embodied participation.”
We can do all the studying a human brain can handle, but at some point, we must decide what we are going to do with our growing knowledge of God. That means we must eventually take a leap of faith, a trust fall into a life empowered by the love of God.
Will it take time? Yes. Will we fail? Of course. But we also fall off our bike, break a guitar string, or sing a wrong note. If we trust that God is present and working in our lives, and if our goal is to live according to His will each day, even our missteps can be pathways which lead to a deeper understanding and capacity for His love.
So, as we reflect on all that we have to be thankful for, let’s ask ourselves where we have seen God’s love at work in our lives. Then ask ourselves how God might be leading us to our own “trust fall” moment, where we reject our fear of failure and impulse of self-preservation, put our faith into action, and simply embody God’s love.
Happy Thanksgiving Real Life!