My feet are resting under our chipped Ethan Allen coffee table. It’s near midnight and there is a stillness in the air. All the kids are asleep, and the day is drawing closer to a new day. My thoughts don’t rest, although the time is telling me to, as I try to eke out a few more minutes of this gift called “today”. So many good, hard and beautiful moments etched onto today’s page… written in sacrificial love. It’s effortless to walk in creek beds, receive hand drawn cards, and enjoy my kids because they truly are a gift. That’s easy love. Yet, the love of a child, goes beyond the easy, and allows you to love when it’s hard. Disregarding selfishness, and transforming your life so that you think of someone else’s needs above your own.
As a society, we live busy, hurried, loud lives, rushing from one place to another, or one thing to another trying to allow our feet to catch up to our agenda. Even when we have time to pause our minds are cluttered. It would take a big theatrical display of God’s majesty to stop us in our tracks, in order for us to really pay attention to God. Yet, God is not a puppet on display. He is the God of the universe that deserves our attention.
I know what you are thinking… trivial. In the big scheme of things, saying blessed instead of lucky has nothing to do with salvation, however, for me it’s something I make a conscious effort to do. Here’s why. With each word we say we are making a statement. What our beliefs, ideologies, and passions are. Luke 6:45 says, “Out of the heart the mouth speaks.” The power of the tongue is very influential.
Sadness, the aching of a bleeding heart, the kind that sometimes seems unfillable? A void. A stillness in the air that echoes in your heart. Have you ever had days like this?
In the famous scene at the end of Schindler’s List, Oskar Schindler looks at his remaining possessions and helplessly reflects on lost opportunities. His anguish is palpable as this strong man’s heart begins to break. He didn’t boast about the hundreds that were spared in his factory, but mourned for those that didn’t get to see the light of another day.
The truths of a loving relationship penetrates my heart. The simple truth that God wants everyone to know and hear. When Jesus died on the cross, it was before we had a relationship with Him. He was dying for those who spit on Him as He walked the road to the cross, for sinners like you and me.
Financial distress, natural disasters, death, illness, the list goes on of the tragedies that happen on a daily basis, yet, if we aren’t personally involved with these tragedies, does it really affect us? We sit comfortable in our cozy homes with our bellies filled and our priorities set. We plan for the future and try not to dwell on the pain that others are experiencing. Perhaps we say a prayer or watch the news with sympathy in our hearts. Sometimes, if we are directly affected we make changes. Perhaps we start praying fervently over fear of the unexpected, but as weeks and months pass so does our urgency to change. Why does it take so much for our heart to be softened, to change our actions before negative consequences ensue, or to have compassion on those dealing with tragedies enough to become involved?
After you ask Jesus into your heart a question still remains, are you willing to have “Agape” love for God or “Phileo” love? Are you willing for your life to be transformed and make a difference in others, or are you going to sit on the sidelines and just be comfortable?
Love is the greatest commandment, the core and force of the Christian faith. In a world filled with pain and hurt we lose sight of this beautiful gift. We not only fail to receive, but we also fail to give. Then, just when we feel overwhelmed, we are reminded of Gods love through the joy of our children, the friendship of our spouse, the caring ways of a friend, or just a random act of kindness from a stranger. I step back and pause as I am humbled. These outward expressions remind me that I am not alone, that I am loved.