Sunday, August 9, 2009

love revealed

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience,
kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Against such things there is no law."
Galations 5:22,23

Last week I desperately needed to seek out the beautiful in life. Too many stinky situations were wearing away at my joy and I needed to know that life was still good.

As only God can do, He began to reveal Himself to me in both big and small ways. Everywhere I looked, His love for me (and my family) was revealed.

In my life I have experienced "love" that left a bad taste in my mouth and left me feeling unsettled. The person I interacted with said something to me or did something for me that was supposed to be loving, but it fell flat.

And, unfortunately, I've said things and done things where love was supposed to be my motivation, but my flesh got in the way.

Instead of planting seeds of life, I've planted weeds that steal peace and joy.

It doesn't feel good to be on either side of the equation. When selfishness is the motivator, both of us lose.

In contrast, I have been blessed to be on the receiving end of pure love—both in words spoken and deeds done. It leaves me breathless and my spirit immediately begins to worship Love Himself.

There is a giving of pure love and a receiving of pure love. There is never a taking.

On Wednesday, I watched pure love in action when my next door neighbor, Billy, sat on our lawn with his son and my children and played with all four of them. Sure, he was tired after a long day at work, but he unselfishly gave his full attention and listening ear.

Later on that evening, Billy and his wife, Becky, took all of our kids and their two dogs for a walk around the neighborhood. Love is patient.

I watched pure love in action last Sunday when my honorary father danced a jig on behalf of my youngest daughter, Sara, on the front porch of our church. She ran into his arms with such delight and squealed a jubilant, "Grandpa!" Love is kind.

On Thursday evening, my husband gave me the gift of a sanity night. He cooked dinner for our children and did the dishes afterwards. He read them stories, played with them and put them to bed. I returned home late that night with a new chair for a little office I've been putting together.

Although he was tired and finally enjoying some much needed downtime for himself, my sweet husband agreed to help me put together my new chair. He then went on to read some of my recent writing and give me supportive feedback. Love does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

When people we love make bad choices, our immediate reaction may not be love. A friend of mine recently shared with me that her dad had flown half-way across the world on a business trip. Upon landing at his destination, he received an emergency phone call from his family.

He bought a new ticket for the next available flight and made the long journey back to the United States. His adult children were in need and he responded. Immediately. Rather than be concerned about the financial burden or his own discomfort, he put his family first. Love is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered.

Last weekend, our good friends, Chris and Ruth, gave us the privilege of caring for their two children. All five of our kiddos have developed quite a bond over the years and are always begging to spend time together. We were blessed to enjoy their company while gifting their parents with much needed time alone.

In turn, Chris and Ruth took care of our three kids this past weekend. Their love for our kids is expressed through fun games, cooking s'mores in their backyard, trips to the park and tents in their living room. We never have to worry about our children's safety or well-being. And, we know that our kids adore them as their second family. Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.
But the greatest of these is love."
(1 Corinthians 13:4—13, includes verses above)

It can be so easy to focus on life's problems and pains. Especially when they seem to come one after another. When we do so, however, we miss out on the goodness that God is continually showering upon us.

I pray, Friend, that we may both have the courage to seek out God's beauty, goodness and love. It's there waiting, always ready to be revealed to those of us who take the time to seek it.

God is love. He loves me and He loves you. Love never ends.

Without love "I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal." With love I am LIVING A BLESSED LIFE!

Revelling in His glorious love,


The Dixon Family Adoption~Join The Journey said...

I love how you write. I wish I could write the way you do. You speak as my heart feels...I have been struggling with the long wait we have and the waiting that we have already done. I have been letting it wear away at my joy as you put it. It has been robbing me of seeing the beauty and all the blessings that God gives daily to me and our family. Focusing on myself and my wants instead of thanking God and seeking His will for what He has for us to do now...I'm learning patience and to press on, being thankful in all things~for He is good!
Thanks for sharing your heart!! ♥

Anne L.B. said...

Everywhere I looked, His love ... was revealed

Oh Amy, how blessed you are to have such a time! I so look forward to the day when distractions no longer obscure such love. :D

Jennifer said...

Wonderful post! And once again, words that I really needed to hear. Thank you!

Girly Girl Mommy said...

Beautifully expressed, yet again! Lots of stinky going on here, so I'm going to seek out the beautiful.