Please excuse me for a moment while I do a short review (as much for myself as for anyone who might be stopping by) of where God has taken me so far this year.
- God has much that He wants to teach me about love in 2010.
- My first lesson was that I am not capable of loving like God love.
- Next came the discovery that in spite of #2 God wants to love the "hard to love" through me.
I think I have it - I don't always like it - but I think I'm making some progress! Or am I? I tend to be a visual learner. So, I often find myself asking the question: What does that look like? I know that loving those who don't love me back is difficult, stressful, and trying. But that's how it makes me feel. I need to know how I am supposed to live it out on a daily basis. And so I have been praying.
Then "Jesus replied, 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and with all your mind.'" Matthew 22:37 Hmm... Well, I have a pretty good idea of what that looks like. Reading His Word tells me was pleases Him and spending time in prayer gives me more specific direction for each day.
But what do I do when the person or people I'm loving hurt me, insult me, or ignore me? That is when I must follow Jesus' example and love sacrificially. I discovered that the heart of this lesson is that love, grace, and forgiveness go hand-in-hand. God is asking me, asking each of us, to reflect His love to us onto those around us. His love is full of grace and forgiveness. Sometimes that makes me look like a big mirror, sometimes a lone candle. But it always looks like me...on my knees.