Hello Windermere Friends,
I remember when I first came around the corner at the Windermere campus and saw the Lake of the Ozarks for the first time. I remember thinking, this is such a breathtaking part of Missouri.
When a group arrives at Windermere I like to watch how the guests act when they first get out of their vehicles. It seems like the first thing people want to do is head over to the lake. Some will walk on the dock, some will just stand and look at the peaceful lake and feel the cool breeze on their face. Others may even put their toe (or feet) right into the water.
It is enlightening to see the reaction of people when they see and experience what they have not seen before.
I think the love of God is like this first time lake experience. The love of God is the greatest component of the Christian faith that many people have not experienced or felt before.
Too many people in our world think God is ready to pounce on them like a lion. They think God’s desire is to punish. It is almost like some people do not really trust God to be a loving God. Even long time followers of Christ will tell you, intimacy with Christ is a life long journey. We are nagged by this feeling that Christ really doesn’t love a wretch like me.
Do you remember the story of Jesus and the children in Mark 10:13-16? Imagine how the children must have felt when they were rebuked by the disciples for trying to get close to Jesus. THEN, imagine how the children must have felt when Jesus rebuked the disciples and asked the children to come to him. Mark says “He took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them” v. 16. I can only imagine their joy!
The Bible describes authentic love this way:
4 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never fails…
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 NASB
Our Lord accepts us where we are, as we are, believes we are valuable, desires what is best and loves us without fail. That is breathtaking to me.
This is what I think about when I see the first time guests at Windermere drift over to the Lake. I pray, “Lord, just like they see the lake for the first time, please let them know your love in an intimate, authentic way, maybe even for the first time, this week.” What a thrill to see lives change.
John W. Bailey
Office 573-346-5200 Ext. 2611