It's been over 2 weeks since I blogged. I can't really tell you anything new and exciting of our ministries that is going on right now or even any Africa life stuff right now. But I thought I could share what is going on inside me and my heart.
Something to read and think about at least if you have been checking the blog and there has been nothing…and maybe it will encourage someone else who feels like they are struggling more than usual through this life as well!
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. it does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong doing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Now a lot of us for a lot of our lives read this passage and are taken back to a wedding ceremony, candles , flowers, pretty lights…. Ahh, LOVE. How wonderful is love and how sweet this passage is in scripture and how encouraging, LOVE.
Well I read it this week and wept. And I am not talking tears of happiness and joy. Tears of sorrow and conviction. Tears of a knife was put to my heart as I have seen how much I don't LOVE.
You fall in love with someone and truly do love them and commit to spend the rest of your life with them and say you will do anything for them. Then you grow in your love for them and years down the road it is much deeper and stronger and you look back and think, I thought I loved them then, but I really love them now! My love now for my spouse is nothing compared to the love I thought I had for them back in the beginning.
And you continue to grow in your love and it becomes much more special and meaningful because of how much your spouse endures and puts up with from you. How much they forgive you. Over and over again. Day after Day.
And you know they love you deeper than before because of how they forgive you and continue to LOVE you.
This is such a blessed gift. To have your love grow in this way.
But it is a painful gift too. A sanctifying gift. No one wants to be hurt by their spouse and no one wants to hurt their spouse. But it happens. And in marriage, seems like all the time, the one you love the most and are most comfortable with and are the free-est with is often the one you hurt the most. Crazy, I know.
But there is real love. And I know that only those who know and love Christ and who know Christ loves them and forgives them freely can really LOVE at all.
LOVE is a powerful thing.
When I look at my husband's LOVE for me I see Christ's LOVE for me.
What an awesome thing to be able to be the one that shows the Love of God the Father and the Love of Christ to another person!
Life can be very hard. Things pressing in on you from all sides. Stress in your life like you have never known before
and attacks of the enemy like you have never known before. Weariness and tiredness sets in and in the midst of all these things we are still to LOVE.
Sadly to say in the midst of all these things I have not LOVED.
And let me just say I was going to title this blog PRIDE.
Because it is PRIDE in my heart that years ago made me think I never struggle with anger and depression and other things. I could look at others and see those struggles and then think, Well I have different struggles but really those have never been my issues. And feel a sense of pride that at least "those sins" are not my areas.
But let me tell you, when you think that…Knowledge puffs up but Pride goes before a fall.
You are about to see it in your own life. And when you least expect it!
The Lord allows us to be pressed down at times and squished and we see what squirts out. And it is not pretty.
So as I read the passage of love and wept I thought:
I have not been patient and kind.
I have envied and boasted;
I have been arrogant and rude.
I have insisted on my own way;
I have been irritable;
I have not bore all things,
I have not believed the best in all things,
I have not had hope in all things,
And I certainly have not endured all things.
I have Failed. ( Love never fails!)
So rather than being encouraged and feeling cheery and fluffy about love, I was feeling broken.
You know it is bad enough to read through the scripture and see something about yourself and come to terms with it. But when you read over a list and you can pretty much say, Yep..this whole entire thing is totally not me right now. that is pretty depressing! And "breaking".
But we know what God does with brokenness and that is where the encouragement comes. We may fail miserably again and again. BUT GOD.
So though I see so many failings lately and that what is coming out in times of hardship and stress is ugliness and not the sweet aroma of Christ, I have hope that in seeing this more clearly and wanting to be the sweet aroma, God helping me, I will be more and more transformed into the image of Christ. And I am so thankful that His LOVE is perfect towards us!