February 14, Ash Wednesday
4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD is our God, the LORD alone. 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. 6 Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart. 7 Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise. 8 Bind them as a sign on your hand, fix them as an emblem on your forehead, 9 and write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
Reading this Bible verse often over the years has helped me through many challenging times. The word “love” stands out to me. To “love” God with all our heart and soul and strength, no matter what is going on in our lives, gives us strength. God’s love always heals. I’ve seen it happen over and over.
As parents, we are doing our best to instill this ever-present love into our children. I encourage them to talk to God as a friend. A child I knew once told me “You can’t see God, but you sure can feel Him.” How true this is. When we do our best in all that we do and Love God and our neighbor as ourselves good things happen.
Last year our trust in God was put to the test. Both my husband and I lost our jobs. It might have seemed scary and hopeless for a moment, but we never lost our faith in God and kept on loving our neighbor. We were able to volunteer at a local food pantry during this time and were able to spend more time with our family. Even during this difficult time, we managed to find all the blessings in this situation. Our family always had food on the table and we were able to grow in our faith together. Through the grace of God we found good jobs after several months of searching and interviewing. We never gave up and truly got closer to God during this journey. Loving the Lord with all our heart, soul and mind definitely helped us to stay grounded and hopeful.
Thank you for loving me and my family and giving us the tools to guide us in our journey called life. Amen.