Life is a precious gift. When I consider my friend Darlene Abbott, I am moved by several of her distinct qualities: Her courage in the face of despair; her cheerful spirit in the face of cancerous evil; her optimistic attitude in the face of cynicism. She illustrates how a life dedicated to God can maintain faith regardless of the circumstances.
Life, indeed, is a precious gift. There is a reason God placed man in dominion over all of nature. Right or wrong, it is my firm belief that LIFE is comprised of four unique, personal traits.
LOVE—The Scripture in 1 John declares that “God is love.” John also states in that same epistle that “love is from God.” In all its forms, the word “love” is used 558 times in the Bible, so it must have been an important concept for God to inspire it that many times. The distinguishing characteristic of man’s life is that there is a loving God who is forever seeking a relationship with man. We can never love enough to achieve a relationship with God. It is a God to man direction, not a man to God.
INSPIRATION—This word, derived from the Greek word for “wind” or “breath.” It means that man’s very life is God-breathed. We are inspired when we hear that “still, small voice” within us leading us toward a specific goal; we are inspired when we are overcome with a sense of giving ourselves away for a purpose that is beyond us; we are inspired when we see what others may not see. God has breathed into us the breath of life, and in doing so has motivated us to be and do beyond what we can achieve on our own.
FAITH—“Assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Faith is much more than trusting. We trust a chair when we sit on it; we trust an airplane when we embark on a trip; we entrust our lives to a physician when we are ill. But in life faith is more than simply trusting in a fallible or imperfect world. It is a condition of the human heart that becomes innate to us and is real. It is the evidence that what we have prayed for does, indeed, exist. Faith is not what we see or do not see; it is not based on human feelings. It is based upon the fact of what God says.
ENERGY—Spiritual energy means that we are aligned with God. We think spiritual thoughts; we perform spiritual deeds; we enliven others’ spirits because our own spirits are receiving nourishment from God. Because the energy of God is stronger than we are, we cannot stop the flow of God’s spirit to us. It is to be accepted, breathed in, and acted upon. But this same spiritual energy translates to physical energy, providing us with the vitality required to pray, worship, witness.
Yes, life is a gift. Just as a single drop of blood does not make a life, neither does just one of the traits above define a life. Life is like a musical composition; it is not comprised of a single note. But take that note and blend it with other notes and it becomes a beautiful concerto that reflects the grace and mercy of a loving Father.