Ruminations of Joseph Ostrander
What Does God’s Love Really Consist Of?
As with most Sunday messages here at Coastlands, the substance of what was shared should rightly cause us saints to pause, reflect, and review what Betty Frye communicated to us yesterday.
When we attempt to identify with the Almighty as His creatures created in His image, we can over simplify the similarity due to our very limited human experience and capacity to share in the Imago Dei.
Betty did not emphasize this one point that Chris has done on occasions: we are reflections of the divine blueprint that includes the entire spectrum of human emotional capacity. We feel the full range of emotions at a less intense level than the Almighty does, but we feel them according to a divine privilege by design…
How do we rightly understand what it means when we claim that, “God is Love?” (cite 1John 4, the love chapter).
Well dear saints, we may do God a disservice by trying to limit our definition of the love of God to the human experience that is a valid one, but limited in scope.
What does ‘love’ consist of? What does it really look like? How does that translate into the manner which we engage with others, let alone the Big Guy we also claim allegiance to?
There are very intense feelings of love we humans can experience that are heightened by the masterfully crafted hormones associated with the ‘feelings’ we associate with love (the entire spectrum and not limited by category).
Endorphins, testosterone (both males and females produce it), oxytocin, dopamine, norepinephrine, and phenylethylamine are the biochemical cocktails that stimulate the associated feelings of what we identify as love.
All of this is God’s design of course. These are the biochemical ingredients God translated into our physiological existence to provide us the means to identify with the divine source of all emotions.
For each of us, the love of God manifests itself in a myriad of ways that I assume are as unique as the personalities He has shaped us into. How He communicates that element of divine love to us during our spiritual sojourns’ has no single precedent we must all conform to and accept as the norm. And there are major characteristics of divine love that I cannot fully comprehend: God’s love is consistent, and comprehensive…
There are elements of God’s love that do not translate easily into our human experiential grid. God’s love does not overwhelm the Source nor the beloved. We cannot say that God is “madly in love” with His creation, although we cannot fathom the extent of what God’s love is, it doesn’t seem to be the emotional intensity that overwhelms God’s interaction with His creatures. I do believe that God’s love is the divine core motivation that all other divine emotions are influenced by. In other words, all other divine emotions that we can imagine are influenced by divine love. There is no divine emotion that is not detached from love’s inspiration and intensity. Just as we cannot separate our tripartite human entity of body, soul and spirit, neither can God isolate Himself from the influence of Love as the core element of His motivation toward every element of His creation.
Why do these considerations even warrant this commentary? Because being convinced of God’s Love and His divine motivation toward us is directly proportional to the degree of trust we have in Him. The Big Question of why bad things happen to even the most pious saint is beyond the scope of my theological pay grade. It seems to be a divine enigma that we all must wrestle with this side of the veil. Not all trials and tribulations are easily categorized as character builders or divine forms of discipline. Jesus said in this world we will have trouble, and each day has enough trouble of its own. It’s just like Immanuel to wax pragmatic on the topic while insisting that we, “…take heart!” because He claims to have overcome the world…
Think about it…