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A sanctuary can be described as a place of refuge, safety and rest; a place where you can feel at peace, the holiest part of a temple/church.

Many years ago, when I attended the funeral of an older woman, I was deeply touched by the eulogy: Her main attribute was love. This description of her life inspired me as a younger woman to strive to be characterised by love, Jesus-love.  

Then came years of searching and stumbling, of forgiveness and once again being filled by the Holy Spirit, of searching in the Word (Bible) and of striving to follow Jesus’ example. During this time, He worked at increasingly making a sanctuary of my life, a place of rest and peace – an island of calm where someone else could also be encouraged. Unfortunately, all too often my tendency towards selfishness sticks out its ugly head and I end up doing more harm than good with my impatience and unforgiveness – to myself as well. Then comes the realization that it’s not about me, but all about Jesus who loved me so much that He laid down his life for me. What a privilege to be able to confess my sinful attitude/actions toward Him and once again begin walking in his footsteps.

As Nickie Gumbel so aptly describes it: “It is God’s love that overcomes evil. … In all your relationships – especially when you encounter great difficulties – imitate God.”  Like God, I also have to be ‘gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.’ (Psalm 145:8 NIV) Then I will be able to interact in every situation, in every relationship with God’s power and love and ‘calm, well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.’ (2 Timothy 1:7 Amplified Bible)

God loves me – now and into eternity. Therefore, I have to do what the philosopher Plato said: ‘Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.’ As Christian my life can and should show others the way to the place of safety and rest, the sanctuary provided to each one of us by God’s love in Jesus Christ.

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