Tag Archive | what love is

This week’s musing

Truth is revealed to me, even when my skull is thick.

 I cried unto God with my voice, even unto God with my voice; and he gave ear unto me.”  Psalm 77:1

I read the whole of Psalm 77 and think how Asaph, the author, expressed similar feelings and asked the same questions I have asked.  Perhaps that puts me in good company, the company of mankind.

Do we all question the goodness of God when our lives seem very hard?  I’ve done my share of asking only to be met with a hushed quiet that I now recognize as loving concern rather than silent neglect.

After this last season of Sweet William’s health issues, I am trying not to question so much but rather to fall upon grace and pray, “The will of the Lord be done.”  It is the prayer that never fails.

“Thy kingdom come.  Thy will be done,” Jesus prayed and gave us the example.  It does bring me more peace, just to rest it all in His hands rather than flail like a fretful child.  Trying to figure it all out is exhausting.

I’m still learning along this journey, not having reached perfection yet.  I have a long way to go.

Yesterday morning as I was finishing my Bible study lesson for the day, I wrote in the margin of the book these words,

“I’ve gotten to know Him [God] in great victories, but even more I think in great trials.”

 I almost gasped at the revelation of it as I wrote the words.  They are truth I know in my head but suddenly they seemed to take root in my heart.

Is it possible, probable that hard places reveal Jesus the most?  Paul’s words ring in my ears:

That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;

I do want to know Him, my God, my Father, my Savior, my Lord.  If it takes the hard roads, the rough seas, the jagged edges of life, to know Him most and know Him best, then I pray those sweet words, “The will of the Lord be done.”

587

581

Fellowship and what love is

Normally on a Sunday morning, I write briefly and so honor the commitment to rest, to take Sabbath in all of its beauty.  Today, I must make some comments about fellowship.  I will try to be brief.

In studying 1 John this week, the facts about fellowship have dug deep into my heart.  I have an introverted personality and struggled with it, especially in my teen years when we feel all eyes are on us and we will never measure up.

People used to say things like “I wish you wouldn’t talk so much” or “Can’t you be quiet back there” as we rode along in the car.  It was not because I was talking but because I wasn’t.  Those kind of comments were kind of hurtful.  Because I didn’t really know how to join in the conversations people were having all around me.  I didn’t know what to say or if I wanted to say something I was afraid I’d be laughed at or misunderstood.

There was one year in junior high when not one of my friends had classes with me.  It was a lonely year for this introvert who had a hard time finding another group.  I spent a lot of time standing around, being quiet, and longing for fellowship.

As I grew older and a little wiser, I realized I could learn to be more proactive in conversations, in meeting new people, in making friends.  And I put myself out there with all of my insecurities, making eye contact and speaking directly to someone passing me in the school halls.  To my surprise, people responded, and I realized the problem was not that they didn’t want to be friendly but that I was too afraid.

Years passed.  I am much more comfortable making new friends now.  My inner introvert still longs for some quiet and space at times, but I am being truthful when I say I love fellowship.  I love gathering with women friends in groups or one-on-one.  And I equally enjoy when Sweet William and I get together with other couples.  I can even enter a room of virtual strangers and introduce myself, though this one is hard for me still.

So when John the beloved disciple talks about having “fellowship with us” it warms something in me.  He speaks of a common bond of friendship with Jesus, the One John had seen and heard and touched.  And he offers that to his readers.  Fellowship with the Father and the Son.  And the result that follows is joy.

There are lots of surface relationships in this world.  Friendship for what one can get out of it.  Professional relationships for the purpose of networking.  Using people for one’s own purpose.

But there is a friendship that is real, and it is lasting, and it originates with God who sent Jesus in human form yet in His own holy likeness.  He reached out His hand to invite us into fellowship with Him.  Then He stretched out his arms on a cross and to fulfill the just requirements of Holy God.   And the doors of Heaven were thrown wide open.

John says this is what love is.  We were loved first by God so that we could love others and have fellowship.

And that, my friends, is pure joy.

Sunday grace to you.  Relish the gift of fellowship with God and with believers today, no matter your personality.  And reach out to someone who is standing alone on the sidelines.  She may be just waiting for someone to love her.

Joy

100_3376

What’s love got to do with it?

What’s love got to do with it, got to do with it?  What’s love but a second-hand emotion?  Are you humming the song yet, released in 1984?

This morning as I stumbled to turn on the gas logs in my sleepy stupor before coffee, I noticed a lovely wrapped box on the kitchen table.  And my first thought was “Oh, I forgot!”  Today is our anniversary.

Sweet William had remembered and somehow found a way to surprise me with a small  package, and we women know good things come in small packages.

After I opened the gift, I hugged him and cupped his face, “I always loved you, even when things were not good. Even in separation.  I still loved you.”  He responded back with the same.

That kind of love goes beyond a “second-hand emotion.”  Because love is not an emotion but a decision, a choice we must make.  Every married couple knows it.  Every parent knows it.

And this segues perfectly into the reason I sort of forgot my anniversary.  Or at least it was not in the forefront of my mind.

Last night we opened our home to two handfuls of beautiful women who came to do Bible study.  The small books of 1, 2, 3 John will be our focus over the next several weeks.  And John talks about love and the actions that should prove it – obedience to God’s Word.

what-love-is

Kelly Minter has written What Love Is and slowly dissects the books verse by verse by verse.

I love doing Bible study.  It’s a lifeline to my Heavenly Father, His very words to my heart, my situation, and my world no matter how any or all of them fluctuate.  I can study alone, and I do regularly.  But studying in a group always challenges me to think harder.  Iron sharpens iron.

So I welcome the opportunity to welcome these women into our home, to gather at the table of the Lord and feast on His truth.  John, the beloved author of those three little books (plus the gospel of John) has some powerful words to say to us.  Some of it is so familiar to me, learned as a child.  Yet throughout John draws a line in the sand, a line between light and darkness.  He calls it like it is even when it isn’t popular.  Even when it goes against the grain.  Even when it hurts.

Seeing myself in the Light of who Jesus is and who He called me to be can be painful.

As I reminisce the many years Sweet William and I have been together, I understand the vows made at the altar long ago.  They were hard vows.  They were meant to be taken seriously.  They were not to be entered into lightly.  Because who could know what would come our way.  Who could know how we would come back again and again to the vows when the feelings were different, when the emotions were not high, warm, or fuzzy.  Who could know but the One who loved first.

Love today for the two of us is deeper, more committed than it was 43 years ago.  It is not swayed by the changing tides of our feelings.  It is long lasting because we have endured together, rejoiced together, cried together, suffered together, prayed together, lived life together with all of it’s joys and heartaches.

We are in it for the long haul.  Because that is what real love is.  And so John the beloved disciple tells us.  We can only love because we were first loved.

And love is from God.