What Love Did
I won't lie to you. It's been a tough year for me on a personal level. No need to explain the reasons, but I can say that I appreciate more than ever what other women my age face, of the demands of this life. And trust me. The longer I live the more I understand that to live life to the fullest--to live life in Christ--is not for the faint of heart.Life is hard. We know that, don't we? I remember when we were kids and life was so much different then, but even then, I felt different. Like I didn't fit into my shoes. Like life was this place I didn't quite understand. But one thing I did get at the tender age of eight and it has stuck like glue to my heart ever since.
God loves me. God wants me. God has a plan for me.
I didn't always feel that love. Let's face it--life interrupts the way we feel and circumstances can ruin the joy of a sensitive heart.
But I have always known that love at a place deep inside of me. I felt the intimate pleasure of God's touch at a soul level. I knew He was true and could be trusted, even on those days when I didn't really trust Him. Does that make sense?
Though the humanness in me struggles with trust sometimes, I know the Bible is true and have proven it could be trusted over and over and over in my life. (We are fickle though, aren't we? And we need to remind ourselves of what we already know.) I am no different than anyone else who struggles now and then. Especially when life hits hard.
And yet, I sense God's pleasure when I pray, when I praise Him - even before I receive the answer to my prayers. I know He hears me. I know He keeps His promises. I know He isn't fickle like me. Doesn't change His mind. Doesn't say one thing and do another. Doesn't walk away when I'm not very lovable. Doesn't ever leave me or forsake me. Doesn't turn His back on me for any reason because He already did that to Jesus on my behalf.
That's what Love did. That's what Love does.
So I try to live in the light of His Love for me. Sure, I fail sometimes. A lot of times. I'm not the perfect wife. (Don't tell Randy.) I'm not the perfect mom. (My kids already know that.) I'll never be the perfect grandma because no matter how hard we try, no one is perfect.
But that doesn't stop Love.
There have been a lot of hurting people in the world over the years. History proves it. Just read the Psalms and you can't escape it. Jeremiah was the weeping prophet. Talk about pain! Look at the news and see the tears on the faces of the Syrian refugees. Look into the eyes of the child in Haiti who doesn't have clean drinking water--or food, for that matter. Watch despair line the faces of the aged who have lost everything to a flood or fire. Talk to the parent of a child who went on a killing spree or the spouse of a husband who was killed in front of her because of their faith.
We talk about lives that matter. We talk about people who live on the margins. And I just want to say something that I hope anyone reading this will take in the spirit that it is intended. And that is this:
All Lives Matter. All Lives Matter to Jesus.
Love doesn't see color or ethnicity or religion or politics or gender. Love sees a beating heart even before it is fully formed in the womb. Love/Jesus came to earth to preach one thing. "Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand." He didn't come to heal every disease, as much as we might have liked that to happen. He came to heal every soul. He died to heal every soul.
When it all comes down and we are about to take our last breath, it isn't going to matter to us what causes we fought for or what we thought about any variety of issues. It isn't going to matter how we spent our money or where we lived or what career we had. It's not even going to matter how good we were to our neighbor or how much we cared for the downtrodden. (Though those are all good things.)
What's going to matter is - do we really know and understand Love? God is love. Jesus is love. Do we really get what that means?
I told someone the other day that no one loves you more than your parents. There is just no getting around the fact that in this life, this human experience, the parent/child bond--if it is normal and not filled with extenuating circumstances--is the strongest bond there is. Next to husband and wife--as long as that commitment is truly committed--that bond is greater. But a parent loves a child in a fraction of the way God loves us.
I think most loving parents would agree with this statement--we would die for our children. We would jump in front of the oncoming bus to save them. We would lay down our self worth to save theirs. We would sacrifice our lives to give them more.
That's what Love does. That's what Love did.
That's what Jesus did for us. That's why all lives matter. He died for all. He came to preach the good news to all. It's why nothing we do to make this world a better place can top what He Already Did. If we can't get that message of His saving redeeming grace, we miss the whole purpose of Love. We miss the whole purpose of life.
We miss the reason for this Christmas season. And we miss the reason for the Cross.
Jesus didn't just come to save a few of us. He doesn't excuse sin in any single one of us. He did come to save all who will let Him in. He did come to free us from the things that keep us enslaved to our own sometimes bitter choices.
What Love did was come. Wrapped in human skin. Nailed to earth's wood. Draped in earthly grave clothes. Laid in the belly of the earth as though it had all come to an end. Love died.
But Love didn't stay dead. Love lives. Love gives. Love forgives. Love saves. Love redeems. All lives that are willing.
Because that's what Love did.