I am talking here about love for our neighbour, love for our community and love for our fellow human beings throughout the world. It is not sentimental love or romantic love but simply treating other people as we would treat ourselves. It is the sort of love that Jesus talked about when he said:
Love is arguably the strongest force in the universe – but love is a choice. We can choose to love or choose not to love. The possibility of love is built into our nature, but is not automatic. We are not robots, mindlessly obeying instincts. In a universe, ruled by the laws of physics, voluntary love stands out as distinctive. In a creation full of random events, love is not random but is a deliberate choice. That is why I say that love is the strongest force in the cosmos.
Last week some of my family attended the funeral of a friend who had died at the age of 51 years old from a heart attack. Was it in God’s plan? I don’t believe that God planned for his life to be cut short. I don’t believe that God wanted that. I don’t believe that his premature death was a punishment in any way.
Does God plan that every 3/4 seconds, a child dies of preventable diseases?
Did God plan for half a million people die in an earthquake in Haiti?
Did God condemn 400,000 Vietnamese boat people to drown at sea whilst seeking a new life in a better country?
Did God plan for me to have a stroke 10 years ago?