February 28, 2017
Recently a good friend of mine who loves Jesus remarried after losing his wife to cancer. He married what everyone thought was a godly woman. It was a marriage approved of by spiritual leaders, friends, and family. But when the honeymoon was over, so was the façade. She was a Jeckel-Hyde personality! After repeated attempts at counseling and intervention, the marriage ended after less than a year. My friend was devastated.
Let’s face it…it’s risky to love. In the 1970’s, Burt Bacharach gave a manuscript to Dionne Warwick and she made famous the song, “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again.” It was a solemn vow to never hurt again.
Which begs the question, why does there seem to be so much pain in loving? There can be any number of reasons, but here are two to think about…
First, I would say, is that a person may enter a relationship with unrealistic expectations. Subconsciously they anticipate that the other person “is going to meet all of MY needs.” Then it’s discovered the other person can’t, and then they blame the other person for what he or she never was ordained or equipped to do.
Secondly, like my friend, sometimes a person is realistic in his or her expectations but finds out the other person won’t come through…they won’t because they’re too needy. They’ve been hurt so badly before that they have made a silent vow to control everyone and everything. They will love and have love on their terms alone.
Years ago I sang in a gospel trio. One of the songs we sang and recorded was called “I Could Never Out Love the Lord.” A portion of the lyric went like this…
There’ve been times when giving and loving brought pain
And I promised I would never let it happen again
But I found that loving was well worth the risk
And that even in losing you win
Jesus experienced exactly that. The Bible tells us that He came unto His own people but they wanted nothing to do with Him (John 1:10-11). He even wept out loud and cried, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem! How I long to gather you to Myself like a mother hen gathers her chicks, but you refuse to come to Me!” (Matthew 23:37). His loving brought Him great pain.
But He didn’t abandon His love commitment to us! No, He went to the cross and gave Himself on our behalf in the greatest show of love ever known. And the Bible says, “Now we love Him because He first loved us,”
(I John 4:19).
Though you and I are imperfect lovers, He continues to come to us with the expressed purpose to make us glorious, holy and blameless. He is committed to making us a spotless Bride so that when He presents us to the Father in heaven, we will not be ashamed but totally immersed in His perfection. We will smile with His radiance on our faces and His glory in our eyes.
Is it any wonder that the saint who walks habitually with Jesus, the Lover of our souls, says, “O How I Love Him!”? There are no unrealistic expectations placed upon us. There are no dysfunctional surprises in this relationship! And as we grow in our understanding of this it’s like we’re falling love with Him over and over and over again.
Copyright © 1972 William J. Gaither, Inc.
April 16, 2017
ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD
O GLORIOUS LOVE
I KEEP FALLING IN LOVE WITH HIM