so it's really late here, and i really need to go to bed...but i just felt the need to write...
God has really been working in my heart these days on so many issues...i have had to surrender in whole new ways since my husband's deployment to Iraq...sacrifice has taken on a completely different meaning for me now, of what both my husband and i have given up...for what he's given up for the sake of those in this country and those in Iraq to fight terrorism...for what i've given up with having my own home and a husband here...and what we've both given up to serve God with all of our hearts
the Lord has brought me to tears lately...not from sadness, or depression, or anything of the like...but from so much love from Him...i'll be driving in the car and hear a worship song, and i'll just start bawling like a baby
i have felt more utterly alone now than i've ever felt, even when i was single...it is an aloneness not just from Paul being gone, but from living the life i'm living and trying to be the person i want to be
God continues to humble me and break my heart for the things He sees and the things i used to miss when i looked at others...i am so far from perfect...but often i get so frustrated with others' lack of love, especially as Christians...but this frustration is wrong, because i have had the same problem for a long time...the problem that comes from a lack of true love
Jesus Christ died and rose again because of one thing, and that is LOVE...it was God's love for us that brought Him down to earth to live as a feeble human, homeless and rejected, yet pouring out every minute of that life for others...it was God's love for us that took Him to the cross, where he bled and died for us to live and know God and be forgiven...it was God's love for us that brought Him back to life, so we could be a new creation and walk in victory...it was God's love for us that sent the Holy Spirit to the disciples, so they could change lives and spread the Gospel through the nations
we get so caught up in ridiculous, legalistic, theological doctrines that we tend to forget the simplest things about God...this is especially easy for me as a seminary student, and i truly believe that is what God has been trying to show me
i have been so unloving in so many ways...i have not loved God with my whole heart, and i have not loved others with my whole heart either...but i am beginning to realize that i have blatently shut out of the love of God in my life so many times...the times when He has tried to show me, even prove to me, that He loves me, i have slammed the door in His face
why is it so hard for humans to accept love? it's our deepest desire and longing, yet when God (who IS love) tries to show us His love for us, we run like the wind...
it's because we (i) don't feel like we deserve that unmerited love from Someone so big and powerful and awesome...we still think He's going to hit that giant red smite button everytime we mess up...and it's because we know that real love includes sacrifice and change
God does not demand sacrifice...He doesn't demand or force anything from us...but if we're really going to follow Him and be with Him, it comes with the territory...
yet the sacrifices required are so worth it, because when we sacrifice something, anything, for the One who loves like no-one else, He gives us back ten-fold what we have given to Him
i am seeing that happen right now in my life...the things i have given to Him, the things i have surrendered to His love, He has replaced with a joy and peace and wholeness that can come from nowhere and no-One else...when we get on our knees and say "okay Lord, i'm done with me, i'm tired of playing games, and i'm giving it all to you for Your sake and for the sake of others, because i need true Love in my life," then we receive Love in ways that are impossible to imagine
i've been a Christian now for years, and i'm finally starting to understand this simple "doctrine," because for the first time, i'm experiencing it...
what about you??? whether you're a new Christian, a long-time Christian, or an unbelieving athiest, have you ever really experienced true love, God's love? or is it something you've just heard about in sermons and in Sunday School and in stories?
if you don't know this Love, it's available, for you, where you are...just ask Him, surrender, give up your selfish, hard-hearted ways, and accept it...and watch the Love of God change your life for forever...
in Jesus' name...amen