by Pastor Rodney Tilley,
Van Horn Community Church
I was just a young boy when my grandfather died and I have just a few faint memories of him. He was a poor farmer who died at what now seems to be a young age. He had terminal cancer and as he lay in bed, he began to reminisce about important events in times past, telling me the same stories over and over again. He had a favorite story about the time when he shot his first squirrel. He would go into great detail about how the squirrel would go round and round the tree, and how he had to outsmart the squirrel and then finally through great aptitude on his part he was able to take aim and with careful precision shoot the fox squirrel and bring it home to his mom for dinner that night. He would tell that story with great emotion and somewhere in his mind that particular moment was as important as the founding of America or some other distant historical event.
But the only problem for me was that if I left his room and returned five minutes later he would begin to tell the story all over again as if that was his first time in the telling. He repeated himself over and over again. I began to complain to my parents who then related to me that one day I would probably be doing the same thing and at that time I too would appreciate a listening ear. And yes, now that I am approaching the age as my grandfather, I am sad to say, I believe I am starting to do the same thing. I tell the same stories and repeat the same old stale jokes, and embellish my youth in points unrecognizable. I pray to God that it will stop, but so far it has only gotten worst.
Which leads me to make my point: I know another person who also is very old and who also keeps repeating himself. Leaving family and friends out of the equation, I want to introduce you to my God. He is very old; in fact, he is the oldest entity that I know of, and yes, he repeats himself over and over again, but not out of dementia or senility, but out of concern. He tells us over and over again that he “loves” us. He talks about love as if it was the only thing on his mind and uses the word over 551 times. Talk about repetition!
He keeps saying it and saying it again, hoping that you will understand. He talks of heaven and forgiveness over and over again. He talks of grace and hope, life and light, giving and receiving, over and over again. He talks of his care and concern, his purpose and direction, over and over again. It sounds like a broken record, but the only thing broken is not in the telling it is in the receiving, for God is saying all of this so that maybe, just maybe, if he says it enough you will come to know it is true, and come and lay your burdens at his feet and your head in his arms.
So let me say it once again, “God loves you,” and again, “God loves you,” and again, and again and again……..
And yes, Grandpa you were right, it does need repeating. God loves you, God loves you, God loves you……..sounds good doesn’t it?
For more information on the love of God, please call Pastor Rodney Tilley at 432-207-0015.