The days will come when you don't have the strength
When all you hear is you're not worth anything
Wondering if you ever could be loved
And if they truly saw your heart they'd see too much
These are the lyrics from the song "Beautiful" by MercyMe. During my "wake up" time today, this song weighed heavy on my heart as I was listening to it while preparing to write today. Somedays the Lord inspires me through scripture, others it's through a recent life experience, and today, it is through a song.
So many people are hurting this time of year due to the lack of love in their life. My heart aches for those who do not know the Lord and do not know what real love is. For we, as a whole, have such a distorted view of love, what it is, what it isn't, how it should or should not feel. When I want to understand love, I think about my children. I think about how my heart feels for them and with them. I think about how I share in their successes, their shortcomings, and how I share in their joy and in their pain. Anytime one of my children is hurting I just want to take the pain away, just as, any time I can make their precious lives better, I truly want to do so.
If I feel this way about MY children, imagine how the Lord feels about me, us. There are many verses in Scripture regarding love. The one that struck me this morning comes from Luke 6:32-36
If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' lend to 'sinners,' expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
As it is written here, to have love, you must be willing to give love, show love and be loving. Love is developed over time as a result of a deep desire to know, serve and give to someone else, putting your own selfish needs aside. Love is not something to be expected or granted, but created from the depths of your heart.
In this joyous time for believers, as we relish the birth of our Savior Jesus and celebrate all that he means to us, let us take time to pray for and remember those around us who may not seem loving in nature, or may not express love outwardly, or, worst of all, may not know what real love is. Pray hard and long for the love of Jesus to be known and if you have love in your life today, be thankful in your prayers and continue to live with an open heart, filled with gratitude and appreciation.