If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
1 Corinthians 13:1-3
A few nights ago, I had some serious time with God, it was so refreshing. In that time, I was convicted of my heart and how dark it has been growing and how skeptical of the world it has become. My heart has gotten so bitter, so judging and there has been so little room for love to give to people that I feel like I'm in tight spandex - keeping everything in and not sharing something so good with a world that has so much bad. I asked God, in that time, if He could soften my heart once again, and teach me all over again how to love as He has loved me.
It's so hard to love people who do not want to be loved, who do not love themselves, who do not accept your love, who are just so hardened by their life - it's so hard to love those people. It's so hard to look around this world and say, "Yeah, I love these people - all of them - without regard to anything they are or have ever done." At times, I want to be honest: I hate the world. I want Jesus to come back more than I even want children. I hate being here, I want people to quit whining about everything, I am sick of seeing the Enemy overcome in the lost world, turning people in their ways against what is God and what is good, and I am so sick of being told to minister to people who don't change - or at least who don't change on my own clock. I am worn out from living in such a hedonistic country, full of lies, greed, and deception. I want to leave, and I realize the whole world is that way. I want to be completely honest with the condition of my heart right now. My heart has become so selfish, and even self-righteous. It's not that I meant for it to become this way, it's that the Enemy knows me well enough to know how to turn me away from God's Will - and the enemy was really making a little dent by turning my heart so cold and loveless.
But God doesn't know me well enough - He knows me completely.
However, the other night while I sought God in all my pain of being here, He spoke to me saying, "Your heart is so dark and barren, and you won't love My people even in their brokenness." It was then that it wasn't the world who inflicted pain upon me - I realized I inflicted that pain upon myself. Per the us' God was right. That night I asked God to show me how to love again, and mold me how He needs me to be in order to love others as He loves me while I'm still a broken sinner.
All weekend, I felt this strange anticipation for Sunday to come. I was so excited for Sunday to come around, because I felt that I was going to learn something at church. Well it didn't start at church - God took me up on my plea for help and started early this morning while I was singing praises and getting to ready for church. A song came on, which I will share in a moment, that reminded me who I am. I am of God and God is in me. That is who I am. I have been chosen and called out to show people the love of God in everything I do and say. I am one as the light of the world. I am to be salt and light on this tasteless, dark planet. It was through this song that God first opened my heart this morning:
When we got to church, I was still curiously thirsting to know what I was going to be taught this morning. Well even as the church service started, I knew my lesson was again to be in Love and loving people. The passage this morning was in 1 Thessalonians 2. Pastor John had five points to make about being teaching Christians in this world. What was the third point? Love.
If you look at the latter part of verse 7 and all through verse 8, Paul explains to the believers of Thessalonica that being among them was tender and cared for by them. He explains, "Just as a nursing mother cares for her children, so we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well." And what do you think this passage gave me an image of? A mother nursing her baby. Yes, I really want to be a mommy some day, so of course God got right to the center of my heart on this one. I thought about the fact that mothers sacrifice themselves and that which is comforting to them in order to meet the needs of their helpless babes with such tenderness. And why would anyone sacrifice so much for so long without any other reason than love? That is when God said to me that the love I already have for my future kids should be practiced on those He gives me to minister to. Give without expectation, sacrifice without recognition, love without condition, be compassionate without stipulation. All these qualities of God I have been lacking for a little while now. God started filling in the places of my heart from which He spooned away the dark matter with His understanding of me as His child. He did this so that I might know how to love others as if they are my children, they are God's children - no matter how broken and lost and rebellious they are. Love is God sparing me from eternity away from Him, even though I deserve it. Love is God giving His only Son. Love is Jesus giving His life for me. Love is Jesus keeping His promise and rising to show me His love is true. And THAT is the love I am to share!
And so it begins: God has not forgotten me and His plans for me have yet to prosper. Even in my selfishness, God never left me; He waited for me to turn back to Him and ask Him to make me more like Him in all earnest. He is such a great and mighty God and there is no one like Him! He is my strength, because I can't rely on my own! And I'm so happy that He loves me and shows me grace in all my folly and brokenness.