I think in this world and in our culture we love to 'love'! We talk about it, fantasize about it, sing about it, write about it. Most people speak of falling in love, or feeling love.
True Love has nothing to do with a feeling...
1 Corinthians 13 4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never ends.
So then, if as Christians, this is our definition of love,
and love NEVER ENDS why is there so much divorce in our marriages?
If love is NOT RUDE or ARROGANT why is there gossiping and judgement inside our church doors?
If love BEARS ALL THINGS why is there poverty right outside our church doors, lonely widows, millions of orphans in our cities and our world?
LOVE IS A CHOICE, that a lot of us are incapable of making.
4 years ago, it was a choice I was unable to make for myself.
And it is because I was BROKEN!
I left my husband for someone else, because I couldn't accept that my husband really loved me. What I experienced growing up is that men leave. And that I was unloveable. If I couldn't even get my own father to love me, or a stepfather to love me, then I must be unloveable. That is the story that Satan told me over and over from the time I was 5 years old.
But God had a different story to tell! Through my husband never giving up on me, I experienced the unconditional love of Christ for the first time in my life! He never stopped loving me. Even though I ran, he stayed put, and begged me to come home. He was my Hosea. Through great counseling, and the spiritual disciplines I began to see that not only did my husband truly love me, but more importantly God loved me. And there was nothing I could do to change that love. No matter how ugly my sin was He NEVER loved me less! A deep understanding and acceptance of that TRUTH rocked my world!
God redeemed our marriage, and my life! We began an adventure of healing that has forever changed us! Glory to God!
Photos from our vow renewal ceremony 4 years ago.
Today we can both say we are grateful for ALL of it! It brought us to where we are today.
I share this story with you because God has given me a desire to see others come to healing.
Isaiah 61 1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor;
he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
2 to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor,
and the day of vengeance of our God;
to comfort all who mourn;
3 to grant to those who mourn in Zion—
to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;
that they may be called oaks of righteousness,
the planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified.
4 They shall build up the ancient ruins;
they shall raise up the former devastations;
they shall repair the ruined cities,
the devastations of many generations.
We cannot look different than the rest of the world if we are just as broken.
That is not the life God intended us to live.
The church is where healing should begin. We have got to emphasize having our spirits formed into the likeness of Christ. It is the ONLY way that we can participate in the Great Commission.
God is all about our healing! That is what restoration is! It is what God wants for us! It is a life long journey, but as we participate with Him, we are changed from glory to glory, and we have something to offer others.
Prayer, meditation, reading scripture, silence, solitude, fasting, these are the paths that lead to healing. Sometimes GOOD Christian counseling is necessary as well, as it was for me.
God is wooing you. He is begging you to spend time with Him. We just don't allow ourselves to be still or silent long enough to hear Him.
This transformation was the catalyst to the adoption of our daughter. But in our brokenness we NEVER would have said YES to adopting a child who was HIV+.
And we would have missed out on all of her amazingness!
When God has radically renovated your soul, the ONLY response can be a radical life!
Funny thing- I can't tell you how much MORE healing has come my way through loving a little girl who most considered 'unloveable'!
There will never be open homes and hearts for orphans, or widows, or the poor, the unlovely or 'unloveable', until we begin to participate with the Spirit in our own healing.
Let's do the work, so we can be 'sent' to bind, proclaim liberty, and open prison doors, that HE MAY BE GLORIFIED!