I used to find attending Sabbath day worship services to be difficult. The world calls us to participate in other activities instead of being in our worship services. The services can feel a bit long at times, if we are being real here. Listening to the word of God after a very busy week could put me to sleep. You all know what I mean—it can be a real struggle. But it has recently gotten easier for me because I now go with a prayer in my heart in the hopes of being uplifted.
The following words of Jeffrey R. Holland have helped me see how God is a loving Father in Heaven: “The first great commandment of all eternity is to love God with all of our heart, might, mind, and strength – that’s the first great commandment. But the first great truth of all eternity is that God loves us with all of His heart, might, mind, and strength. That love is the foundation stone of eternity, and it should be the foundation stone of our daily life.”
I first heard this quote in a Sabbath day service, and had I not been attending and listening with an open heart, I would have missed these wonderful words of wisdom and inspiration. They spoke to me in ways I can never forget. I now see God as a very loving parent whose greatest desire is for us to know we are loved. I have always known how much he loves others, but I sometimes forget how much he loves me personally. I have suffered a great deal of loneliness all of my life due both to my own choices and the life choices others imposed upon me. Now, I see he never stopped loving me, even when I felt so alone or sinned. He never stopped watching over me, but I had left him.
In middle school I heard the word of God spoken of by loving teachers. In high school I decided to read the word of God for myself, then I prayed to know if it was true. God, through the Holy Spirit, then filled my whole being with his love for me. He has continued to do so throughout my life. Renewing these witnesses of God’s plan for me every day and each Sunday in my worship services has helped me weather some pretty heavy storms in life. Alone, I am very lonely and can do nothing to improve my situation. With God’s love in my life, I can do all things. It took me a long time to understand all of these things. I can be a slow learner, yet I am getting there and I feel so much more uplifted.
Because I am prone to forget these things, I need to attend my Sabbath day services to hear others tell of their faith in a loving Father above. As we witness to one another in our gatherings, we strengthen our witness of God’s love in our lives. I actually look forward to attending worship services now because they renew me and I am uplifted by others sharing God’s love with me. It strengthens me to face the world.