Today my post is a little different. I want to share with you a short excerpt from my new book which I hope to publish early in 2015. Remember I am sharing only a part of a story.
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.”
Can you imagine a love as great as this? It is beyond the scope of our human imaginations. If we tried to quantify it we would be at a loss for there is no number large enough. Would you be willing to give up your son or daughter to save someone else’s life? Though we may believe we should say yes, if faced with such a situation in reality, the answer would be a resounding no!
God’s love for us, every one of us, is immeasurable; it is unfathomable. He is filled with so much love for us that He sacrificed His own son just to save us from an eternity of suffering. When we fall short of His command for us to love Him completely and unreservedly, or to love our neighbor as ourselves, it grieves Him. He has no choice but to use a variety of methods to help bring us back to Him. We fall out of His abundance or blessings until we are steered back into His fold. Notice that even though we disappoint Him, He still tries to get us to love Him as He loves us. Our wrongdoing or disobedience of His commands does not diminish His love for us. Whatever happens, He loves us always.
In a community called La Brea, in the island of Trinidad of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, one of the world’s natural asphalt lakes can be found. It is called the Pitch Lake. The asphalt is a mixture of sand, water, clay and bitumen. Bitumen is a viscous, black or brown, semi-solid composed of a mixture of heavy hydrocarbons associated with crude oil. The air at the Pitch Lake has a pungent odor emanating from the pitch or asphalt due to the emission of the gases hydrogen sulphide, methane, and ethane.
There are other natural asphalt lakes in the world but the composition of the asphalt at La Brea is unique. It has a good balance of heavy hydrocarbon compounds which makes it an extremely good adhesive or caulking agent and which makes it soft when heated but solid when cooled.
This amazing substance has anti-corrosive properties that make it suitable for use as linings and for underwater pipelines. Its adhesive properties, strength and resistance to chemicals and oils have led to its use in the paving of roads, airports, car parks and floorings. In fact there are roads and airport runways which have been constructed more than twenty years ago and are still in good condition with little or no maintenance.
A visit to the Pitch Lake could be anti-climactic. It looks like a huge expanse of land which is unprofessionally paved. There may be pools of water visible depending on the season. The Lake is somewhat organic, meaning that it looks solid, but it moves… very, very slowly. Although there is a major area which constitutes the Lake, there are numerous smaller branches extending throughout the community of La Brea.
Consequently, because of the constant churning motion, the road to the Pitch Lake is in disappointingly poor condition. I remember as a child passing through La Brea on our way to a small fishing village in South Trinidad, Cedros. Along the way, I was always fascinated by the angles at which I thought the houses had been built. I later learnt that the movement of the land caused the houses to shift and sink gradually. Being a sufferer of motion sickness, this was not my favorite trip. The bumps and sinks produced waves of nausea as we made our way to Cedros.
Fascinatingly, if an object remains stationary for too long on the surface of the asphalt, it will slowly be sucked in by the viscous goo… and in the same manner the lake has on occasion spewed out items which it had previously consumed! Perhaps even more noteworthy is that the removal of enough tar or asphalt to create a sink or hole in the lake results in the asphalt slowly rising to the surface to fill the space. It is speculated that there is enough asphalt to be regenerated for the next four hundred years.
Can you imagine that? A natural resource is mined for national and international use. It is mined repeatedly. Yet it seems to never run out. It replenishes itself. It might appear to be used up to some extent for a while but it fills back seemingly to its original amount. It appears to be hard on the surface but on closer inspection it is semi-solid or viscous. There are even areas which are soft, if the temperature is hot enough.
It could be viewed as a nuisance for those living in the area – their houses are lopsided, the pavements are broken and uneven and the roads can never be mistaken for being smooth. A stranger with no knowledge of the area may regard it as an eyesore like an unkempt parking lot. What could be an embarrassment for the villagers or even the entire citizenry is an area of high commercial activity in terms of tourism and asphalt export. The apparent unyielding surface slowly draws objects into itself.
God’s love for us is immeasurable. Just like the Pitch Lake, His love for us never runs out. When we feel unloved, perhaps out of guilt for some wrongdoing, His love slowly draws us back to Him and back to peace. When a Christian is undergoing some trial, it may be easy for others to cast judgment; it may cause them to ask, “Where is your God?” When viewed in context, the character, patience and perseverance developed by the Christian as a result, reveals the depth and width and breadth of God’s love.
If an inanimate object can give so much, so many times, do you not think that God, who is all-powerful, can give to us infinitely more than that? He gave His son for us, just to enable us to spend eternity with Him. Now that is great love. He has shown us by this act how far He is willing to go for us. When you are in despair, if you are experiencing heartache or if it feels as though nothing in your life is worthwhile, recall the words of John 3:16: “For God so loved the world..”
Armed with the reassurance of this love, you may overcome any obstacle or trial in your life. All we need to do to remain in this love is to love Him in return with all our hearts and minds and souls and to love our neighbor as ourselves as instructed in Mark 12:30 – 31.
The love of God is real and good.
We need to love Him all we could.
A faithful loving Father is He
to a child as simple as me
How do you define love? What part does love play in your life? Drop me a word or line to let me know your feelings and please let me know if you enjoyed the post. Until next time, may be if you let me know if you like this, I will post another one of the stories from my book. Hasta la vista.