The Jesus Storybook Bible says it best in its introduction, “God wrote, ‘I love you’ — he wrote it in the sky, and on the earth, and under the sea. He wrote his message everywhere.”
Love is an exquisite gift. Our very existence is rooted in the extravagant love of God. We were created out of the overflow of the Trinity’s love. Love begets love… We were built to lavishly receive and give love. Love brings life, vitality, and breath; it’s what makes the heart beat with possibility. It is a powerful force that can soften even the hardest of hearts by smoothing out the tattered edges of cynicism and demolishing the walls of self protection. Love allows us to boldly offer our true selves to others, stirring us to acts of selflessness. However, we live in a fallen world, so love is risky, too. Opening our hearts, exposes them to deep hurt. Love can be complicated, messy, and fraught with all kinds of frailties. We are a broken people who often mishandle the hearts of those we love by speaking angry words peppered with unkindness.
Human love doesn’t always go the distance. Families break up, people betray us, and loved ones die. This is the underbelly of love. It’s easy to lose faith in its power and forget the magnitude of its gift. In our humanness, we will often go to great lengths to keep our hearts from pain. The danger is that we may self protect ourselves out of real relationship. Oh, how we lose so much more.
Sadly, it didn’t take long for our first parents to betray God’s extravagant love causing a huge schism between God and man. They, and all who would follow, were displaced, hopelessly lost from home. Yet, God didn’t turn away (self protect); instead, His hand of love reached across the chasm of our broken condition and built a bridge that leads us home. That bridge of love is Jesus. And, the power of His love always beckons us home.
Love shattered my heart when my youngest son was taken from this earth. I thought the scattered pieces of my heart were unrecoverable. Chunks of me felt dead. The love shared between mother and son felt forever gone-completely taken.
In my journey of grief, I have often allowed the words of 1 Corinthians 13:8 to wash over me, “Love never ends…” They resonate deeply, reminding my heart that God is the eternal source of love. My relationship to Luke began with God. It is rooted in His eternal love. It has not ended—its expression has changed. This is balm to my hurting heart.
Sisters, whether we lose someone we cherish or experience the hurt that comes with human relationships, we can know we are loved by a God whose love will always go the distance. His love will never fail. May you root your precious heart in the the security of these words, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness” (Jeremiah 31:3).
Abba, thank you for your eternal gift of love. You say in your word that three things remain: faith, hope, and, love. But the greatest of these is love. Your love sustains when all else fails, leaves, or forever changes. We humbly ask for your help in remembering that our love relationships are rooted and held securely in your never changing everlasting love.
Word of the day:
“So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
1 Corinthians 13:13