Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A Choice

During one of our Saturday brunches, my dad sweetly told me that when someone really loves you it’s hard for them to want to go away. I think he meant that as comforting words and reassurance, in his ever caring dad way, that my imperfections do not explain my singleness. Very sweet…It’s just that no one really loves me! Hmm…thanks dad!

In all seriousness though I do think that we can be “blinded by love” and the damage must be at least a little severe for us or the other person to “open their eyes” so to speak. At least that has been my experience. Suddenly the truth about who you are or can be is made evident and a self-preserving desire for the other person to turn the other way may present itself. Choosing to love someone eventually means choosing to work through the pain.

I’m reading the book of Job right now for my bible study. Job was someone who loved God greatly, and he also led a fairly blessed life. Then, God allowed Satan to destroy a lot of what made his life good. When Job’s life took many turns for the worse he cried out to God in pain and desperation. He didn’t even want to live anymore. (Job 7) I can certainly relate to this pity party as I’ve thrown one for myself on multiple occasions. Not that I have ever had to go through anything even half as terrible as Job did. However, I’ve learned the need to accept that pain just is. I do not mean to suggest that I always accept this truth gracefully; my point is I can recognize the reality of pain. Living in a broken world means having to experience suffering at some point in our lives. Does suffering mean that God has abandoned us? Did God abandon Job? Is God unkind? How does suffering glorify God anyways? What good does hurting bring? These are questions I’ve definitely wrestled with. Maybe sometimes the only benefit is to show others and myself that my strength is in Christ not in happy circumstances. Maybe that alone brings God glory. And as a sweet friend recently reminded me, pain is temporary.

2 Corinthians 4: 16-18
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

I wonder if it hurts God that I don’t always choose to work through the pain. Certainly God has never needed my love per say, yet I wonder how many times I have hurt Him by running the other way. I guess I just like things easy. I hate to admit that my love can be so conditional. I know it’s selfish, and I’m so thankful that God’s faithfulness never relies on mine.

2 Timothy 2:13
If we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself.

I must confess the more I learn about God the more I am convinced of His craziness. I don’t mean this disrespectfully; I mean His love makes no sense to me. Why does God continue to love us and offer us grace? I would have undoubtedly run the other way by now. God always loves though, even when I stray. He always chooses to work through the pain. I think my dad was right to say that when someone loves you they want to stick around. I just find it amazing that God, who is perfect and sovereign, would be the one who always chooses to stay.

Lamentations 3:22-24
Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him."

1 John 4:16
And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.

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