I shared this in our service Sunday - . I've had some request that I record these Reflection Readings and make them available as audio or video files. I will add that to my to do list of projects and let you know when I have them ready. In the mean time you can read them.
“Though we are incomplete, God loves us completely. Though we are imperfect, He loves us perfectly. Though we may feel lost and without compass, God's love encompasses us completely. ... He loves every one of us, even those who are flawed, rejected, awkward, sorrowful, or broken.”
― Dieter F. Uchtdorf
I have been wrestling all week with what to write about Love for this Reflection You might think it an easy subject. Perhaps it is the result of locking my heart away for many many years in an effort to protect it from being broken any further that I now still struggle to feel love. Love is something that is very hard for me to feel or fully understand. I can rationalize it and understand love from the perspective of commitment. I can understand that Christ would leave his heavenly home and come because He loves you and I.
In general however, Love is elusive and seems difficult for me to grasp. Oh I know all the verses. John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
or John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son....
I know 1Corinthians 13 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
I am a very visual person and as I searched looking for someway to express my thoughts on this subject I found this painting called Rain by Laura Diehl. The painter may have thought nothing of the Love of God when she created this painting. I look at it and it speaks to me of God’s love in a way I can understand. I can feel the rain, I feel it wet and cold on my face. I feel it saturate my hair and soak my clothes. I understand wet, I understand rain. I can touch it, taste it, I can smell it in the wind. I live in the Pacific Northwest, I know rain. I can paint rain, I can describe rain, I can show you rain.
Love is something that we need to experience like rain. We need to be saturated and soaked in God’s love. Perhaps your heart is broken and wounded like mine has been. Mine is a lot better than it once was. God's done a considerable amount of healing. Maybe your heart is no longer able to hold love. God could fill it over and over and His love would just leaks right out of the cracks. You might feel his Love while you are in a worship service but as soon as you leave it all leaks out and you are right back to empty. I understand, I've been there too.
Do you see the desperation on the child’s face?
We sing a song by Michael W. Smith that says
“this is the air I breathe...
Your holy presence living in me
this is my daily bread...
Your very word spoken to me
And I, I'm desperate for you
And I, I'm I'm lost without you”
(Here's the link if you are not familiar with this song or would like to listen to it. http://youtu.be/K-0EgzOWkvc)
This is the love that you and I need to experience. We need to be saturated until the parched, dusty barren dry desert lands of our heart become saturated and able to produce a rich harvest and become a bountiful planting of the Lord. We need the Lord to Soak us, wash us, refresh us in His presence. He sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. None of us deserve the love he lavishes upon us. Every good and perfect gift that we have is from his hand.
"The greatest honor we can give Almighty God is to live gladly
because of the knowledge of his love." Julian of Norwich
Those of us who are broken and struggle to feel or contain love - need the rain of the Lords love and presence to come now and heal and restore us. We need Him to make us wells of salvation. We need him to make us carriers and couriers of His presence. Come Lord - come fill us and pour us out but don’t leave us empty and dry. In your great love continually fill us to overflowing again and again. That the world around us would know we are Christians by our love.
I will end as I began “Though we are incomplete, God loves us completely. Though we are imperfect, He loves us perfectly. Though we may feel lost and without compass, God's love encompasses us completely. ... He loves every one of us, even those who are flawed, rejected, awkward, sorrowful, or broken.”
This picture is our prayer today. Not a prayer of words but an image to lock in our minds. It is a visual prayer. Will you lift your hands like the child in the painting allow the Lord to rain on you with his Love.