Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Power of Love

"Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place."  
Zora Neale Hurston

What truth there is in this quote.

When you know you are loved in spite of all you are, your soul doesn't need to hide.
You can be known for who you are with no fear.

"Perfect love casts out all fear."
1 John 4:18

God's perfect love given to us and accepted by us casts out the fear of showing who we truly are.

One of my other favorite quotes is:
"His love for us is not decreased by the sin in us."
(Author Unknown)

His love for us is not affected by the sin in us.  In fact, that very sin in us is what led Him to the most ultimate act of love - His death on a cross.

When we receive His love, we are then admonished by Scripture to give that same love to others.
But, how is that translated?
Isn't that the hardest thing?

How do we risk letting our "soul crawl out from its hiding place" with another person?
One who could reject us?
One who could make fun of us?
One who may not love us in return?
One who might manipulate that love?
One who might take advantage of that love?

"To love is to risk not being loved in return.  To hope is to risk pain.  To try is to risk failure, but risk must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.  Love comes to those who still hope even though they've been disappointed, to those who still believe even though they've been betrayed, to those who still love even though they've been hurt before."  Author Unknown

I remember when my oldest daughter left home after high school graduation.  She was a very messy teen-ager.  Her room always looked like a bomb had just exploded.  I had to pass her room every time I went to the bathroom.  Sometimes I would just close her door so I didn't have to see the mess.  A few weeks before she was leaving home to join YWAM (Youth With A Mission), she began the task of "digging out."  As the time got closer for her departure, her room got cleaner and we could even see the color of her carpet again.  My husband and I took her to the Mission Base in Ontario, Canada and leaving her there was one of the hardest things we both had ever had to do.  We cried off and on all the way home.  Back home, I went to use the bathroom and passed her immaculate bedroom.  I started to cry all over again.  I thought, "I would give anything to see that room messy again because it would mean that she's back home."  At that moment I realized that my tears and my pain were actually a good thing, because they revealed a strong love for my daughter.  I hurt because I loved - and that was - and is - actually a good thing!

Living a life with our soul in hiding is really no life at all.  

There is such power in love.

It has the power to heal.
It has the power to hurt.
It has the power to lift us to amazing heights.
And it has the power to throw us into the deepest depths.
It has the power to draw our souls out of hiding.
It also has the power to send our souls back into hiding.

It can enable someone to trust.
But it can also cause us to vow never to trust again.

Love is a risk - a huge risk.

But it is one risk that we need to take - again and again and again.

Because a life without love is a hollow life.

Learning to love is a life-long journey.
Sometimes we get it right.
Sometimes we get it wrong.

But it's always a risk worth taking.

"...Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee."
Jeremiah 31:3

Our God draws us into His love with loving kindness.  He knows our deepest needs and our greatest fears and His love seeks to meet those needs and overcome those fears.  We love Him because He first loved us.  His love reaches, reaches, reaches, always for us.  His love never gives up, never grows discouraged, never stops reaching, never dies.  It is constant and it is that very love that helps our soul come out of hiding.  It is that love that teaches us how to trust because it reveals the One worthy of trust.  It is also that love that works in us to enable us to love others, to trust others, as our true trust is ultimately placed in Him.

"Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.  This is the first and great commandment.  And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.  On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."
Matthew 22: 37-40

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