“Eye has not seen, nor ear has heard, nor have entered the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love him.” 2 Cor 2:9
What have you prepared for me today, Father? I know I do not need to fear, for you are love; pure perfect wonderful love. I have nothing to fear because You love me completely, without reservation and unconditionally.
Sometimes we have storms to face. We all have storms and they come in various shapes and levels of ferocity. Terrible storms, that shake the soul. Sometimes we encounter hatred, betrayal or undeserved judgment that hurt us deeply. Other times we endure pain and suffering, that seems to never end and we cannot see the purpose. Loss overwhelms us with grief and we are broken-hearted. Attacks within and without batter us like waves on the sea. Sometimes our inner storms are the biggest ones. At least that is true for me.
It is in my heart where the worst storms rage. It is an almost constant battle to remember who You are and who I am in You. I find myself often seeking to please you and earn your acceptance with my works when I already have your acceptance. It’s not my works that earn your love. You simply love me. You chose me. What I do reflects what I believe, but too often what I do does not align with what I say I believe. So I pile unnecessary condemnation on myself and doubt my worth. This leads to even more dark and futile thoughts and actions.
And all the while, You continue to love me. You do not leave me or forsake me. I am held in the palm of Your almighty hand and nothing can snatch me away from you. You sing songs of delight over me. You are behind me, beside me, before me and in my very midst. You are here- in the storm. I have nothing to fear.
Your love amazes me and draws me close in spite of all my failures. Your light breaks through and calls me back into Your loving presence. You call me home and my home is in You.
Jesus said people would know that I am Yours by how I love others. Paul wrote what that love was like in 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8a.
“Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.”
This is how You love us – how You love me. This is how you want me to love others, and love is what really matters. I can do all kinds of wonderful things, but if I do anything without love it is meaningless.
I can be patient with someone – for a time. But do I love them when I am in a hurry and I am muttering under my breath or tapping my foot impatiently? How often have I done a loving thing for someone, and then hurt when they didn’t return the favor? Love is not self-seeking.
But the hardest thing to do on this list is to keep no record of wrong. You do that Father. You do that for me – for everyone. Jesus paid the price and all is forgiven and not remembered by You. This is how you love. This is how you want me to love others.
How do I do that? By abiding in YOU and seeking YOU every day. By coming to KNOW you instead of knowing about You. To have an intimate living breathing relationship with You. You are Love, and you will change me to be like You and love like You do.
Easily said, but some days it seems so hard to do.
You call me to seek You. You call me to lay aside my old ways and to pick up my cross and follow your example. To lay aside my grievances, and forgive and not allow that grievance to ever come between me and the one who hurt me. Because that is what You do for me for me. Your Holy Spirit, will teach me and show me the way. Even if You have to do it over and over again. Love is patient.
I want to love like You do Father. As my day unfolds, and I encounter the things that You have set before me, help me remember Your love and reflect it toward others. As the enemy throws his worst at me, I know you will help me overcome and rise victorious. How can I fail, when my God is on my side? What shall I fear, when the almighty and all-powerful Lord of all creation is in me and I am hidden in Him thru Christ?