If God is on your side, who can be against you?  This is one of my favorite bible verses (Romans 8:31) because ultimately, how God sees us is the only important question.  And that question has already been answered in your favor! 

As I shared in my last email/blog post, you are already at the party!   I can assert that as a true statement even to people I have never met.  Because that truth depends on who God is and not on who you are or what you’ve done.  

You may be thinking: Okay, so that’s all fine and good up in my head but how do I allow that truth to settle down into my heart? 

Let me tell you a story about a trip my husband and I took to Mount Tremblant in Quebec, Canada for a special wedding anniversary.  He skied; I scrapbooked.  So much togetherness.  Anyway, it was COLD up there.  Yes, I realize that that is part of the whole ski trip idea.  I had to get all bundled up to go outside, explore the town, and find quaint little places for dinner.  The town was adorable.  The hotel was lovely.  It even had a hot tub.  Outside.  In the cold and the snow.  BRRR.  I love hot tubs, but I could not muster up the courage to go outside wearing only my swimsuit and robe, walk through the snow to get to the hot tub, take off my robe and slip in to the steamy, warm water.  Each night, I wanted to do it, but I was afraid of the cold. 

Finally, on the last day, I made a dash for it – through the snow – shivering all the way into the warm bubbling steamy water.  And then…ahhhhh!  The warmth enveloped me.  The steam swirled around my head and shoulders and rose up into the night sky.  I started to thaw out.  It was snowing a bit and we watched the snowflakes drop into the bubbling water.  It was exquisite.  We stayed in the tub enjoying the sensation of the cool night air on our faces and the wonderful warm water bubbling around our bodies.  Bliss! 

Eventually, we had to get out to eat dinner.  After several attempts, we finally found enough courage to get out and wrap our wet selves in the cold snowy robe.  But there was no shivering!  I was amazed that I was still warm even after I got out of the water.  We got dressed and went out on the town to find dinner and for the first time that weekend, I was strolling through the town with my overcoat unbuttoned, still plenty warm from my time in the hot tub.  It was as if my very core had warmed up so much that it was able to keep me comfortable all evening long. 

The trip was many years ago, but I still remember that feeling of being warmed from the inside out.  And today, the story came back to me as a way of understanding how God loves each of us.  God loves us from the inside out, from the very core of who we are.  Knowing that truth deep in your heart can keep you feeling loved in an unloving and unkind world.  God’s love for you, unconditional and unearned, can heal you from death by a thousand papercuts.  It won’t protect you from hardships of life, but that warm glow of God’s presence through the hardships can make all the difference.    

Can you feel the glow of God loving you from the inside out?  Ask God to show you.

Wishing you a brand new year believing that God is on your side and may you experience God’s love from deep inside of you!