“Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” (Deuteronomy 6:4-5)
This Scripture is known as the “Shema” and is the central creed of all Jewish people. It is a pledge of allegiance, a declaration of faith and a mission statement. It is the first prayer a Jewish child is taught to say, and it is the last spoken prayer at death. Most often it is prayed with a hand covering the eyes – as if to say – regardless of the circumstances in front of my eyes, I stand on God’s sovereignty and declare my wholehearted devotion.
Charlie Harary tells this story… “I have a friend whose father built a garment company. My friend was an only child and growing up his Dad would often comment about how one day his son is going to take over the business. But the son didn’t have any interest in the business and became a banker instead. After a few years, he left the bank and went to work for his Dad.
When asked what it was like to work for his Dad, my friend replied; ‘I love it!’ When I worked at the bank I never really knew what person I was working for. I didn’t know who would protect me or abandon me. I wasn’t even sure why I was doing what I did. I felt disconnected. I felt I was running in circles. Now that I work for my Dad – it’s different.
You see, my father is CEO of the company. There is no one more important. He is the person I want to please…but it’s even more than that. He wants me to be the person who carries on the business, so I know there’s a reason for everything he gives me…whether it’s sweeping floors or negotiating, if he puts me in a situation or gives me a task, I know it’s connected to a greater purpose. See, I love my Dad. And I trust him that he has my best interest in mind.”
Life works in a similar way. We don’t really know what will happen in the future. We don’t really know who we can trust or count on. We ask ourselves if our lives have meaning or purpose. And then, before we start and end each day we are reminded…Hear! Listen! Pay attention! There is a Creator and Sustainer of humanity…the Universal CEO. That same God is the Lord your God.
God has a purpose for you. God is running the world and He loves you like an only child. He has a plan for you. That means in every circumstance in your life – going to school or going to the doctor, helping someone in need or being in need yourself, at work or at rest, on good days and bad – everything is God-given and is connected to God’s greater purpose!
When we say these words and believe them – we live differently. "Remembering God is sovereign, and we are loved so completely we are able to navigate life with calm, clarity and faith. We trust God.”
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength!”
Growing in Grace,