God’s love is perfect. He loves us when we don’t deserve it, and because he is so loving, he will justify us when we trespass against him because he came to us first. We love him because he first loved us. His love is perfect. When men and women did not esteem him, and even hated him, he died for them on the cross. He did this even though they would not recognize what he had done. He received no recognition from many for his sacrifice. He didn’t do good to us so that we would love him in return, rather he did good to us because of love. His love is perfect. When we looked to the world to make us whole, and it chewed us up and spit us out, and we cried, wondering who was there, did anyone truly care, he was there and unlike no other he understood because he was alone too while he was being treated like a criminal when he was really innocent, hanging on that cross. God’s love is perfect, and it was manifested in his Son, who died and gave his life for us. Not so that we could ever give him anything in return, but because he truly loved us. His love is still perfect.
I’ve found that some of our most destructive patterns occur in the midst of pain. When we get angry, hurt, offended we become defensive and in an attempt to defend ourselves we can say mean and hurtful things to others. We didn’t mean it that way, we hope they will forgive and understand us. In time they might. Some wounds can take a life time to heal. Yet there is hope. There is a way around the destruction that wants to destroy our friendships, relationships, and our homes. We can obey God even when it hurts. We can seek out his answers to our pains, and be willing to be objective to our pain, rather than offensive while in pain. Take the time to hear the other side. Listen to their pain, understand their sorrow, even when it hurts. In 1 Corinthians chapter 13, what we call the love chapter in the bible, the first descriptive word that is given to define love, is patience. Love is patient. Love does not need absolution right now. Love does not need its own needs met right now. God is the greater judge and he sees all, and he promises that when we sow seeds while we have sorrow, our harvest will be joy. Love bears all things, hopes all things, believes the best. It is patient and kind. It listens. It considers the other person. It puts its own feelings and thoughts aside so it can be the healing salve for another. If that person needs space from you, then pray they will find the care and comfort they seek. Pray they will be protected, well fed, and nourished. Love believes the best in every person. Love conquers all. Love is not self-seeking. It does not count another’s faults. Love, even when it hurts, and we will reap our reward, even if it is only helping another through their trials.
Today I heard you tell me you were pleased with me, and that you are going to make everything in my life work out for my favor as you prepare a table before me with its luscious feast. I stopped and asked myself, “wait, did I even pray today?”. Yes, of course I always pray but today was not one of those days that I felt overly spiritual. I’ve made some attempts to press in yesterday but was met with meditation on things you were doing in my life instead. So I asked myself, what did I do? I searched my memory for what I did to please you and earn your reward of making everything turn out the way I have always hoped. I had a few ideas, but I heard you say, “just keep leaning on my word”. On my commute home today I felt your love again, you told me that you were very pleased with me and that you love me. I pondered about this some more. Even though I myself preach grace and love not works, I myself have an underlying tendency to try to earn your love and approval. It is human instinct? Or maybe just experience of growing up in a desert with little love. I always want to know, what did I do so that I can do it more. I don’t want to lose this love, I don’t want to lose this favor. Of course I want everything in my life to work for my favor. Of course I want the greatest riches I can have, which is having you close to my heart. And then it occurred to me…. I have done nothing to earn this love. You love me because you made me, and I was made to be intimate with you. You are not a formula that is a result of combining ingredients. You are not a riddle to be solved. You love me because I am yours and you chose me. You sought me, you knew me before I was ever born and had me in mind when you died on the cross for me. You did that for me. You came to earth in the form of a man to be despised and tempted like a man, and to be hurt, ridiculed, and broken like a man, because you thought about me. We error when we think that we have chosen you and that we have earned you, no you chose us and you bought us with your blood. You paid the bride price with human sacrifice. You know you, you made me to know you so that I can praise you all the rest of my life. What have I done except to be given the title of the bride of Christ, the child of the most high God. Thank you for being a permanent fixture in my life. I have not chosen wrong.