Over the past year we have experienced so many abrupt changes to our normal rhythm and quite frankly, 2021 hasn’t given much reprieve so far.
This interruption to my “normal rhythm” has caused me to behave in less than loving ways. Just when I step out to challenge others to love well, I am presented with obstacles to walk it out myself. Coincidence? I think not! My days have been filled with battles against anxiety, frustration, lack of patience, control freak tendencies and an overall panic at times. In short, it brings out the ugly in me.
I have realized just how much my flesh depends on a “normal rhythm” in order to show love well and that, my friends, has been an extremely convicting realization.
It’s only natural to find ourselves off course from time to time. We all get weary and lose focus and 2020 has been a doozie of an excuse.
BUT, rather than being frustrated with myself for allowing this to happen, this time I am choosing to forego the self bullying and focus on 3 Truths About WHY We Love:
1. “We love because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19
This scripture is about as straight forward as it gets. The only reason we are capable of giving and receiving love is because God first loved us. We MUST remind our forgetful selves of this fact over and over lest we forget and our sinful nature causes our love to be selfish, contingent and limited. God is the embodiment of perfect love. Though we cannot achieve perfect love this side of heaven, we can show progress and continued growth through the work of the Holy Spirit in us.
2. “God is love, and the one who remains in love remains in God, and God remains in him.” 1 John 4:16b
As believers, it is our gifted privilege to walk in step with our Creator who also happens to love us like crazy. To remain in Him means to abide with Him. The Greek word for this is menos. It means to stay present, not just physically but mentally and spiritually*. Just as I purpose to be present for my spouse and children, I am to stay present, aware, and in constant fellowship with God. By doing so, His love will freely filter through me to those around me.
The truth is, abiding with Jesus each and every day MUST be the only rhythm that I depend on. Any substitute is going to land me right back into a cranky, disheveled mess.
3. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8
While the world is adjusting to a long list of “new normals”, the scripture reminds us that our Savior is unchanging. He is our steady rock and fortress when everything around us seems to be uncertain and crumbling. Resting in that knowledge gifts us with a tremendous amount of space in our minds, energy in our bodies and awareness in our hearts to carry on with His mission of loving others well. Our homes can be peaceful, our marriages healthy and our influence can be effective because we can remain steadfast in our calling and undeterred by circumstances around us.
Which of these Truths did you most need to hear today?
Take some time to journal these scriptures and your own thoughts and convictions as you ponder them.
You are loved dear friends!