Sitting on my bed in Kenya I was overlooking a glorious sunrise over the Indian Ocean. I couldn’t believe it… I mean, I remember the plane ride and all, but to wake up to THIS view was unbelievable! It was so beautiful, breath-taking, HOT and amazing. Yesterday I held a crawly starfish and a spiny sea urchin in the palm of my hand. But today, my encouragement came from 1 Cor 13. Starting with verse 4, it reads:
“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way, it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.”
I’ve read those verses countless times – memorized them and repeated them to others. Sometimes when a verse becomes so familiar it looses its punch. My brain goes into auto mode and says “skip”, get to the new stuff! But the word of God is living and active and sharper than any man made tool and is effective for training ME – even in auto mode.
Reading that passage while gawking at my Creator’s original sunrise, I saw HIM. Have I ever looked at these verses as how God Himself sees ME, His daughter? I mean I’ve placed my name in place of “love” and been convicted of my LACK of love, of good deeds and prayed I would do better. But have I ever sat back and just RECEIVED HIS ABSOLUTE, GENUINE, PERFECT LOVE FOR ME?
God is patient with me. He is kind to me. He does not wish I was like anyone else, nor does He remind me how so-in-so handled that situation so much better than me. He never brushes me off saying He doesn’t have time for my problems today. He never INSISTS on me following His ways. God is not grumpy, frumpy, having a “moment” or a “week”, tired, or burned out with me – He’s not thinking about all the times He’s tried to get me to understand this faith thing. He’s not looking down on me with pen and paper in hand checking off my failures and keeping track of my inabilities. He’s never rejoicing at my sin. Instead He rejoices the moment I walk in truth. He’s bearing the burden of all things – He BELIEVES in me. He has HOPE for me. He will endure with me til the very end. He will never fail – neither will His love.
I can never GIVE love like this to myself or the world around me without first soaking it in from above. I have to remind myself that it’s OK to do that. It doesn’t sound exciting or “enough” to my brain to just BE in His presence and soak in His love. Our Lord is LOVE and this is a beautiful definition. Almost as beautiful as the beaches in Kenya!