Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Love is Not Just a Lovely Thought

What happens when the loving gets tough?  

My heart has been heavy lately over the fallen nature of we human beings.  As Paul so eloquently states, "For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate (Romans 7:15, ESV)".  I think upon the perfect glory of the Lord, of the peace that will someday reign in eternity when all of heaven will cry "holy, holy, holy", and my heart aches to know such perfection.  When I examine my heart and the amount of sin that Jesus has absorbed for my sake, I am deeply humbled--yet, although the final work is done, I am still challenged on a daily basis to walk the walk, not just talk the talk.  

It seems to me that one of the ways we can grow closer to our Father is through difficult circumstances and difficult people.  Boy, it would be great if God would be willing to grow us simply through the joys of life: successful ventures, life-giving friendships, fun excursions through His nature.  But as the saying goes, "If you ask God for patience, He will give you the opportunity to be patient."  And isn't that the truth?  When we get down to the nitty-gritty, the moments when our flesh desires to scream out in selfishness and justice--that is the very moment God is drawing us closer to Himself.  That is moment the love of Jesus reigns.  That is the moment love is put forth in genuine action, not just in lovely thoughts.  

The psalmist David cries out to the Lord:

Psalm 5, ESV

Give ear to my words, O LORD;
consider my groaning.
Give attention to the sound of my cry,
my King and my God,
for to you do I pray.
O LORD, in the morning you hear my voice;
in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch.
For you are not a God who delights in wickedness;
evil may not dwell with you.
The boastful shall not stand before your eyes;
you hate all evildoers.
You destroy those who speak lies;
the LORD abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.
But I, through the abundance of your steadfast love,
will enter your house.
I will bow down toward your holy temple
in the fear of you.
Lead me, O LORD, in your righteousness
because of my enemies;
make your way straight before me.

As I was reading, my eyes glued to verse 8.  "What?  Lead me in your righteousness because of my enemies?"  I think David hits the nail on the head, though.  We need the Lord's leading in His righteousness all the more because of difficult times and difficult people.  It is in the most trying of moments when God challenges us: "How will you love now?  Will you allow this situation to draw Me closer to you, or will you push Me away?"  This is the test of love.  It looks out for the betterment of the other, for the service of the other, and not for an indulgence of our flesh.  

Ladies, this is tough stuff.  My flesh wants to cry out, "No!  I want to do what I want to do!".  There are times when I want to tear out my hair!  But God gently whispers, Let My love be gentle, kind, and forgiving.  Let My love be more than just a lovely thought.

How have you been challenged to love?  What has God taught you through interaction with difficult situations and people?

1 comment:

  1. Oh my gosh, this topic spoke to me so much!! I will send you a message via Facebook about the situation, but I'm currently going through a time where it's very difficult to love. Thank you so much for your words, Kristen :) Love you and God Bless!


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