I have many friends who believe in various religions or no religion. Sometimes I think we have more friends who are not of the same belief system as me then are Jesus followers. I have actually joked with people that I like to hanging out with non Christians more than Christians. For it is the Christians that I often have a strong negative response.
Anyway, I am incredibly thankful to know so many people of different belief systems and backgrounds. It has been an eye opening experience to see such beauty and kindness among humanity. Historically I have felt more love and acceptance by non Christians than Christians. It has been a reminder that God loves all of us rather we acknowledge his existence or not. God has mercy and grace for all of us whether we love him in return. God desires good things for all of us whether we choose to believe in Jesus or not. God is so not like us humans.
I like to go back to my dogs as a analogy. I love them, adore them, care for them, house them, feed them, play with them, provide them company. I desire there love, attention and companionship in return. This is also what God is to us. The other day my smallest, partially blind dog managed to find a way out of the back fence. This is like the 4th or 5th time. After realizing she was gone I started to panic. I ran up and down the street looking for her and yelling her name. Eventually I went back to the yard and look in the adjacent back yard of the house behind us. I could not see her but I could hear her. I then took an adventure to the back neighbores house. After having trouble identifying the right house I located her. The family that had found her did not want to give her back. They had fallen in love with my little treasure.
This is often how we are with God. We leave him, we find other things that we think are providing what we want and need. We start to fall in love with these these other things rather than God. He will often chase after us because he wants our affections. Much like I want my dogs affection. But what if my little dog did not want to come back to me? What is she liked her new home and decided she preferred that home? What would I do? I love her so incredibly much that I would allow her to stay in that home if she desired to. For I love her and want her to be happy. When we leave God and find other homes and choose to not go back to him, God never stops loving us. The problem is there is no greater love than God. When we leave him, other things may fill a void but they will never be as good as God’s love and provision. God’s plans for us are the best. He honors our choices even when we leave him but choosing Jesus is always the best choice.