Wednesday, March 4, 2015

To love and to be losing.

When I started this post a couple of weeks *months* ago (and by started, I mean I scribbled some thoughts in a notebook and strung some unrelated sentences together in a draft saved in cyberspace), I didn't realize that the last few Sundays salt would be dashed in all of my open wounds, particularly after some heavy weeks. And in God's divine, gracious timing and faithfulness, He's met me were I'm doubting and questioning.

. . .

I've been wrestling a lot lately about what it means to love.
Really love. 

To love, not because it feels good or is comfortable or easy.
Because there have been times in caring for people, giving them time and attention, where I've been left to pick up the smatterings of all I've given, as they've walked out of my life or away from the faith.

And I'm asking, why?
Why does it feel like losing?

Because it is.

. . .

But that's love.

When I look at God. And how He defines love - it's this:
Giving up His one and only Son for us - the world.
It's sacrifice. 

Loving is always losing.

It's not roses. Or pin needles. Or gum drops. 
It's giving up what I want for myself for the eternal good of another. 
It's being crucified with Christ Jesus. (John 3:16; Galatians 2:20) 
"Love isn't passive," my pastor says during last week's sermon.
Love is doing. And dying.

Ironically, in an episode of One Tree Hill (a secular TV show), Lucas Scott, the all-American, basketball star turned literary genius, poetically narrates, "The greatest act of love is sacrifice."
Even the world knows it.

And sacrifice is hard.
And it's inevitably going to lead to suffering.

And sometimes love - it's saying hard things to people.
It's repenting and apologizing in humility.
It's forgiving. And not begrudgingly.
It's sitting somewhere different in church to say hello to someone new, when you'd rather be in the company and comfort of friends.
It's continuing to be kind and generous to people you know will not return the favor.

And it stinks sometimes.
And it costs something. (John 13)

But that's what it means to follow Jesus. And in my heart, of hearts...
I want to want that.

. . .

So what do you do when you feel that you're loving, but always losing?

1) Look to Jesus. (Hebrews 12:1-2). Who "for the joy set before him" suffered. He's the one that compels, controls, motivates (2 Corinthians 5:14).

2) Know that all the losing, is really gaining. It's getting Christ. The best thing. (Philippians 3:8)

3) Rejoice! Because we know the end of the story. (Revelation). All this loving and losing - it will come to an end. And then one day. ONE DAY. It will just be a whole lot of love. And we won't be disappointed. (Romans 5:5)

And we can know. And believe. And trust that what's next is better, far greater - seeing Jesus as He really is. (1 John 3:2). Experiencing His love to the fullest. That's the JOY. That's the gaining. 

1 comment:

Ashley Kilmer said...

Needed this. Thank you.