When we have nothing to give | The Salvation Army

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When we have nothing to give

18 May 2019 War Cry promo image
Posted May 18, 2019

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I once heard it said that when you know God loves you, you can bear anything. But when you don’t know God loves you, everything is hard to bear.

My faith came alive to me when I was 14, and I have had a deep devotion to God ever since. But I wore my Christian ‘busyness’ like Brownie badges—without knowing it, I think I was trying to win God’s love.

Then, in my early twenties, I burnt out and escaped overseas. It was an experience of being ‘stripped away’. I no longer had my ‘badges’ to display to God. For over a year, I asked God, ‘Why? Why did you bring me here?’

Yet, without the burden of busyness, it was a time of rich blessing, friendship and adventure. One day, I remember taking my Bible to a babbling brook in the British countryside. As I sat there, taking in the beauty, my heart cried out again: ‘Why am I here?’

Then, I felt God’s gentle response: ‘I brought you here for moments like this’. In that moment, I understood God longed to bless me, not burden me. I was vastly and deeply loved—even when I had nothing to offer. This transformed my relationship with God.

That is why Barbara Sampson’s final article in her series especially resonated with me—in it (p. 20), Barbara talks about living under the gaze of God’s love. To me, God no longer feels like a disapproving parent, saying ‘I’m doing this for your own good’. He is my true companion, walking with me through the hills and valleys of life.

Ingrid Barratt

Bible verse

Isaiah 30:18
Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion.
Ihāia 30:18
Nā konei anō a Ihowā ka tatari, he mea kia atawhaitia ai koutou e ia, nā konei anō ia ka whakanekehia ake, kia tohungia ai koutou e ia.