Monday, February 14, 2011

A Much Needed Fresh Look on Love

This morning I woke up and, having forgotten the night before that it was going to be Valentine’s Day, I quickly gathered up some red and pink decorations and tried to present a bit of “visual” love on the counter for breakfast.  Skipping a shower, due to lack of time,  I mixed up my grandmother’s famous Kaiserschmaren recipe (the equivalent to chopped up pancake in a pan – an old German recipe), and tried to make the morning memorable. I signed notebooks. Made lunches.  Pressed clothes. Helped console a child who forgot to write out a few Valentine’s. Hustled kids to school, and even turned around once to go back home, as someone fell and soaked their pants through with mud.
I’m trying to love in tangible ways; I try to do so every day, but today with love on my mind I’m trying to be even more intentional. AND I’m trying to look at real love – again – because, I forget.  I get busy. I get tired. I get snirky.  I don’t always love well.  I don't like that I do this.
How about you?
I realized this morning, I need a fresh look on love. I can pull out some decorations and make a fun breakfast, but I need a reminder about a love that goes deeper than that. It’s easy to love the things we love, when all is fair and good, but God calls us to love – at all times.  Not always an easy thing to do, but always the right and good thing to do.
The famous love chapter in the Bible, 1 Corinthians 13 (vs. 4 – 8, 12-13) helps us to remember what it looks like to love God’s way. I pulled the paraphrase of the Bible, the Message, off my shelf and read through it. I’m glad I did. 

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn't want what it doesn't have.
Love doesn't strut,
Doesn't have a swelled head,
Doesn't force itself on others,
Isn't always "me first,"
Doesn't fly off the handle,
Doesn't keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn't revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.

Love never dies. We don't yet see things clearly. We're squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won't be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We'll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!

But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.

I don’t know about you, but I needed this reminder today -- everyday. I want to love God’s way. 

Praying the same for you, dear reader.

Dear Lord,

Thank you that You are love and that we can learn to love Your way, by learning of You and seeing how You love us.  Help us to be lovers of You and lovers of others.  Even when it is not easy to love, help us to not give up hope, but to persevere, extending grace and forgiveness and always trusting You in all things.  Help us to stop today and remember that You lavished Your love on us, and help us to love others in return.

In Jesus name I pray.  Amen


Deanna@MilesToRun said...

What a wonderful post this morning, Andrea. The Bible verses you recited were ones that were read at our wedding. Thank you for bringing them to my attention on such a love-filled day. I think we'll recite these words of love at the dinner table tonight and share with the girls how those simple words started this great family.

Betsy said...

Happy Valentine's Day, Andrea. I was just praying this morning, "Lord, give my heart more love for people." Then I read your timely post. I love it!

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