Leah began her talk tonight by telling us that the ministry team has been praying, throughout the conference, that everyone here will be able to understand – and enter into – God’s limitless love.
We live in a world where we can try to find our identity and validation from the world. Many of us long for likes, retweets, comments, and compliments. And, though these things aren’t necessarily evil, they can never speak the whole truth to us.
Leah asked, “Do our lives reflect what the world wants for us or what God wants for us?”
The best image of God’s limitless love is the crucifix. It’s easy to look at a crucifix in our homes, in our churches, and in our schools and not even think about it. On their wedding day, Leah and her husband Ricky held onto a crucifix as they exchanged vows, because they knew that they would need His help to love one another well. That same crucifix hangs in their home as a constant reminder to them that although human love is imperfect, God’s love will never fail us.
She encouraged us to reflect on the two criminals who were on either side of Jesus when he was crucified. One shook his fist and bitterly cried out for Jesus to do something, and the other one simply asked Jesus to remember him, for mercy.
Leah spoke of her grandfather’s tragic death, and how her parents took the family to church shortly thereafter. In church, looking at the crucifix, she prayed honestly – and angrily – pouring out her heart to God.
As she continued to pray and reflect, she gradually came to the realization that God the Father understands her pain. His only Son died tragically, too. Though the grief and the suffering didn’t go away, her anger eventually turned to peace as she kept her heart open to God’s love.
As she wrapped things up, Leah shared with us about how her husband has served in the military. When asked to describe what it’s like to be in battled, Ricky told her, “I fight so that my buddy next to me will go home.” Isn’t that just like Jesus? He didn’t die for a building or a conference, but Jesus fought and died for you.
Only in Jesus do we find our meaning, our purpose, our everything: limitless love.