An Elizabeth Barrett Browning Quote

“I love you not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you.” What a beautiful quote.

As I thought about it, I challenged myself. Can I say that about God? “I love You not only for who You are, but for who I am when I’m with You?” If I love God and put Him first, I ought to be able to. The truth is that I often magnify my shortcomings when I’m with God in private, and when I’m with Him in a church-setting, the effort of having to mix with so many people at once is probably on my mind more than intimacy with God, but I decided this challenge would lead to a much happier life, so would you like to join me?

Let’s be filled with gratitude for the time we spend with God. Let’s smile when we hear Him speak into our hearts. Let’s want to bless Him and be always on the look-out for ways to praise Him. Let’s savour moments with Him and remember them for years to come, writing down important things He says and going back to reread them. Let’s truly say to God: “I love You not only for who You are, but for who I am when I am with You.”

To be a Blessing

With all these cuts the UK-government are making, many of us are feeling the effects. Even if we’re not directly impacted at the moment, things aren’t looking as secure as they used to. This should be no surprise. 1 Timothy 6:17 says: “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment”. God’s already urged us not to put our hope in wealth, but nevertheless, when your circumstances change, it can take some adjusting to. That’s why I wanted to pass on some encouragement I had last week, when reading chapters 7-8 of Zechariah.

“This is what the LORD Almighty said: ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the foreigner or the poor. Do not plot evil against each other.’ But they refused to pay attention; stubbornly they turned their backs and covered their ears. They made their hearts as hard as flint and would not listen to the law or to the words that the LORD Almighty had sent by his Spirit through the earlier prophets. So the LORD Almighty was very angry. “‘When I called, they did not listen; so when they called, I would not listen,’ says the LORD Almighty. ‘I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations, where they were strangers. The land they left behind them was so desolate that no one traveled through it. This is how they made the pleasant land desolate’” (7:9-14). I read that and I thought: If that’s how God treated those who didn’t do what was in His heart, when He sees those who are showing compassion and helping the poor, won’t He treat them well?

And in the next chapter, this verse: “Just as you, Judah and Israel, have been a curse among the nations, so I will save you, and you will be a blessing. Do not be afraid, but let your hands be strong” (8:13). You may bless others in many ways – with your finances, your abilities, your time. One of my privileges is that I’m able to sponsor children through Compassion. I really hope God will provide for me to carry this on. I love my family in the Philippines and Haiti, and I want desperately to see them through to the end of their sponsorship. I need to do what Zechariah 8 says and not be afraid. Whatever the world might throw at you, if you’ve given your life to God, He’s in control.

I hope you’ve been helped by these verses. Is there anything specific you’re hoping for?