Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you. Psalm 143:8
When I was a physician, I had two partners with whom I shared office expenses, and three additional physicians with whom I shared call. We worked well together. We had tense moments once a year when we mapped out the weekend call schedule for the next year, but otherwise there were very few disagreements. We got along well.
But when I sold my practice to the hospital, it became apparent that we had a relationship based upon mutual financial benefit and call coverage. We trusted each other to the extent that we benefited one another. I had spent the previous 9 months in negotiations with the hospital for the purchase of my practice. I had discussed my departure in detail with my partners 9 months before leaving. And then as I was on my way out of town, I received a phone call from one of my partners. After additional reflection, I was told that they felt I owed them an additional sum of money to cover their loss of revenue over the course of the next year due to my absence.
As I think about that experience and compare it to my relationship with my children, I realize the depth and strength of unfailing love. Any financial arrangement I have ever made with any of my children, whether it be college expenses, cars, or gifts of various magnitude, they have all flowed out of an unfailing love for them. And I have received gratitude and love in return. There are times we have had tough conversations, but those were always to clarify what needed to be done out of love, and not what would be of most benefit to me. A father/child relationship is special and almost indescribable. As my children are adults today, each one of them is my friend, and yet still my child. Every interaction I have with them is motivated out of love for them. And I feel their love for me in return.
As I think of the contrast between the relationship I have experienced with my partners and with my children, I ask myself what kind of relationship do I have with my God? Have a partnered with Him for my benefit? Or am I in love with Him as His child? Do I see Him as my loving Father who would do anything for me, including have a tough conversation to show me the best path to take in life? Or do I simply want His money and goods so I can prosper on my own independent from Him?
When I read Psalm 143:8, I realize that my relationship with God should be based on trust and love. It is true in our earthly relationships, and it is true in our heavenly ones as well. I will follow God to the extent that I love Him. I will walk on His path as long as I trust Him. Love, my friends, is the basis of obedience. I can follow His path when the trials become nearly unbearable only when I trust and love Him. And so each morning I listen to God as I read His Word and sit quietly to hear His voice. That’s the only way I find that I can stay in love with Him. What do you do to stay in love with your God?