"For God so loved the world that He gave....."
Love originated with God because God IS love.
I've been thinking about this lately because I am always, always amazed at the very many, creative ways God will show His love for me as I walk out my very ordinary days.
Right now I am in Maine with some friends on vacation. One of the ladies, Linda, got sick yesterday. It's an ongoing medical condition and not one to be taken lightly. When I went downstairs this morning, she and Pat were discussing whether or not she should go to the hospital. We chatted for awhile, discussed some options and she decided to put the hospital visit on hold.
I left to go for a walk on the beach. As I walked, I started to pray and asked God to touch her body and give her peace.
As I continued my walk, I found this message of God's love for me on the beach.
An absolutely perfect heart!
I was so excited and felt my heart respond immediately to God's love expressed in this stone found right there on the beach.
Then, I heard these words.
"Love isn't love put in your heart to stay.
Love isn't love til you give it away."
"No, Lord, you can't mean........ Really? I'm not sure I want to. Really?"
Yes, I knew really. He wanted me to give her this stone as an expression of His love for her in the middle of this medical situation.
I wish I could tell you that immediately I said okay, but I didn't.
I didn't want to give away this perfect heart.
"But, Lord, it's such a perfect stone. I really want to keep it. I'll never find another like it. You're not really asking me to part with it, are you?"
"Yes, I am."
I heard loud and clear.
"Bring this to her, tell her I love her and pray with her."
Then my heart settled and I remembered again that "love isn't love til you give it away."
I continued my walk on the beach reflecting on the love of God and the fact that God expects us to be conduits of that love. When He so unselfishly pours out His love to us, it's not just for our benefit, but it's so we can share it with others who may not be aware of it.
God loved and He gave.
Isn't that what He wants us to do?
As I finished my walk and approached our ocean cottage, my heart skipped a beat as I saw this in the sand:
The things that ran through my mind as I took this picture and then picked up the stone.
When we willingly share God's love, it comes back to us.
Our supply is never depleted, because God's love is continuously being poured out
and lavished upon us.
We can never outgive God.
The first heart was perfect which symbolized to me the perfect love of God.
The second heart is not perfect which represents the way we, as humans, love.
When we receive the perfect love of God and allow Him to use us as conduits of that love to others, then His love becomes complete and perfectly expressed.
As we express God's love to others, we don't ever have to worry about "running out."
God did not have to give me another heart this morning, but He did.
That is the expression of His never-ending, unconditional love.
How precious it is to me!
I came home and shared with Linda what God said to me and gave her the stone. I then asked her if I could pray with her. She said yes and I lifted her up to the Lord, marveling that the same love He shows me, He has for her, too.
And the love He has for her in no way diminishes the love He has for me.
He has way more than enough to go around!
Linda did not take a trip to the hospital today and I know she was touched by God's expression of love to her. I trust she will grow stronger in body and spirit in the days ahead.
I felt challenged by God today and I want to challenge you.
Actively look for an expression of His love for you today.
Begin keeping a "Love Journal."
Record the many ways He pours out His love for you in the course of your ordinary day.
Let the increasing knowledge of His perfect love for you begin to change you.
And then begin to share God's love with others.
Ask God each day to send someone your way who truly needs a touch of His love.