While your newsfeed is BLOWING UP with blogs and banter over politics, global events, etc., etc., I offer you something different. Maybe a little something to encourage you as you spend the rest of your weekend in sweatpants or preparing your mind and house for the week to come. Whatever you do I pray you are encouraged to carry on with bravery, hope, and grace. May the fierce love of Jesus drive you. Not your bad mood. Not your frustration. Not your disappointment. Love. True, glorious love. Love that conquers fear. Love that endures. Love that has overcome. May love be your reaction and response despite what’s been thrown your way. Love is far more powerful that we can even dream.
Feeling fresh out of love?
Beg the Giver of Love for his presence. In his presence, there is the fullness of joy. In it is sacred love that will soothe whatever ails you. I promise. He won’t turn on you. He won’t withhold love. He offers it freely. It’s just what you need.
Too many feel they must run from God because he has betrayed their heart, but dear friend, he has not betrayed you. You are not forgotten. He does not miss a thing. He is the very One who can stop the bleeding, administer the salve, and heal every anxious, depressed, worthless thought that creeps into the corners of your heart.
When our hearts feel betrayed, powerless, or apathetic, He is the only one who can help us. He offers his presence when we offer our vulnerability. He meets us in our most tender and broken places. He will draw near. There are no shortcuts in the story of our lives. We have to play it out every day. We have to feel and face each ache, bruise, and bump. The hope lies in our willingness to question our heart, promoting honesty with ourselves and God. If we listen to the whisper of the Father, it won’t be long before we have the capacity to love in ways we hadn’t before. He can illuminate our soul to reveal the hurt, bitterness, and resentment that distorts our view of others. He can point out the poison that has compromised our love.
This pure love, the kind we long to offer our significant others, children, co-workers, and friends, offers freedom.
1 Corinthians 13 reminds us,
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
The truth about love is:
- that it gives and expects nothing in return
- that it doesn’t reciprocate hate or disrespect but offers grace
- that it invites others to savor the sacred narrative of their story
- that it doesn’t shrink back from pain but listens in the dark and painful seasons, fully aware there is something to be treasured
- that it is grateful for the even the smallest of victories or simple pleasures
- that it isn’t scarce and there is room for others to experience and taste it
- that it leads to bravery and courage, willing to stand up for justice and righteousness
- that it encourages others to be and do what sets their soul on fire
- that it is both fierce and tender
- that it offers hope and power
- that it works hand-in-hand with forgiveness
This love isn’t accessible by man or woman alone but only received by the Good Father, who will not ignore us when we ask for this love. He will partner with us to be full, alive, stronger, and whole. We are worthy of his love.
As we trade our resentment, anxiety, hate, betrayal, despair, disappointment, and shame, may the vibrant love of the Father find us, hold us, and heal us.
This is my prayer for your heart and mine.