Exhale……the home stretch of this journey reveals 4 beautiful descriptions of what love is. I pray we will now look ahead for opportunities to demonstrate these miraculous qualities of love. We’ve saturated ourselves of late in eight anti-love traits. This trait and those that will follow, simply and obviously state love’s true nature.
If you are resolved to the fact that love is an utterly selfless act, you’ll concede that regardless of what might transpire in the lives of your primary people, you are prepared to bear it with them. When you do, you love. There is nothing more stunning, more wonderfully disorienting than having someone stand with you when you are in a storm. It doesn’t matter what kind of storm, how it came, who caused it……when someone who does not have to be there chooses to be there, it speaks love to our core like nothing else.
“Love bears up under anything and everything that comes.” That’s how the Amplified Version states it. In Genesis chapter 3, when God called for His beloved son and daughter in The Garden in the cool of the day, He was already demonstrating His willingness to bear up under anything and everything that comes. He knew what had just happened, that Eve and Adam had ultimately decided He was not trustworthy, but He pursued them non-the-less. God has been pursuing humanity ever since.
No one has shown us the beauty of bearing all things like God has. So, He asks us to do the same for others, knowing that as we do; as people’s sensibilities are turned on their ear (because you’re there an you don’t have to be), they will have had the “live and in-person” experience of being loved by God.
The implication of loving this way? It will likely be VERY messy, complex and potentially painful. But, this is precisely the kind of demonstration that will speak to a God-less world, convinced that “Christians” are detached, exclusive, elitist, hypocritical and irrelevant. Love that bears all things tells the world, “Welcome. We are open and ready to pay whatever price there is to offer you sanctuary. Jesus did it for us. We will do the same for you.”
We follow God’s lead, not consumed with thoughts of what it will cost us, because we do not pay the bill. We don’t pass judgement because “you got yourself into this mess”. We offer practical help recognizing we have undeservingly received the same. We are emissary’s without any illusions as to what it means to deliver the love of God. Churches are meant to be filling-stations for Children of God, and safe-houses for the downtrodden.
So, rather than looking back, feeling badly when I ask myself, “When’s the last time I invited someone’s difficulties into my tidy existence?” I’m going to look forward. There will be opportunities sooner than I may like to think, where God will invite me to enter the swirling madness of bearing with another person. But in that madness, some needy soul will be given a life-line connected to the Living God.
Strengthen the weak hands,
and make firm the feeble knees.
~ Isaiah 35:3 ~