Friday night was a glorious evening. Two dear friends became one in marriage. After months of preparation, they welcomed one another into the rest of each other’s lives. They will share the good times and bad, the struggles and the joys, they will share themselves with one another, their whole selves. They will love, honor and cherish, growing together in new an amazing ways that only marriage can bring about. Their love for one another was beaming from their faces. As the groom first saw his bride, tears were streaming down his face. He was overwhelmed. As I watched him wait for her to be presented to him by her father, I was deeply reminded of how much our heavenly Father loves us with this kind of deep personal love.
Love. Self sacrificing, deeply personal, a beautiful emotion. Love can heal, love can hurt, but when done right, love soothes the soul and calms the spirit. Everyday I am reminded of that love in the words of scripture. God’s love story told to us, for us, to give us an understanding of who God is and who we are as his children.
You my friend are deeply loved by God. You are handcrafted with care, a beautiful masterpiece. From each hair on your head down to your toes, God purposefully formed you in the womb.(Ps 139:13) Knitting you together, your imperfections and all, His tender gift, asking nothing in return except for love. His deep desire is for you to love both Him and others.
The love of the Father for His creation. The bible speaks of it often in words and examples, God’s word is love. Jesus sent to redeem, heal, and conquer death, for the world. He came and interacted and loved in the most unassuming ways to the least of society. To the downtrodden, the outcast, the sick, to those who didn’t have it all together. He loved people like me and continues to love us today. Through His love, He offers a better way to live. One that doesn’t involve striving so hard, but simply involves love, compassion, patience and kindness.
Life has burdens and trials, but if we simply offer up ourselves to Jesus, if we drop our agenda and love, peace will fill our soul. The burdens will seem lighter because Jesus helps us shoulder each one, He will teach us to live a better way. (Mt 11:29) Life with Him at our side is worth losing our own agendas.
Where is your agenda standing in the way of love? It’s not always easy to love, it takes commitment, patience and perseverance. But if we are loving God, if we believe in Jesus, it is easier to love others because we have the Spirit within us. Jesus is the one who can satisfy the soul and help us to love others. In Him alone life and love is found.
Jesus sets the example on how to love and in scripture He is referred to as the bridegroom and the church His bride. We, his creation, are his bride as well. As you begin your week today, look to the Father, He delights in you, He loves you, imagine tears of love and joy streaming down His face as He looks down upon you.