Thursday, February 2, 2012

A Love Like That of Christ’s

Yesterday, I began my day with a very heavy and sorrowful heart.  Once again, it all had to do with the profound ache of relationships.  I am truly having a difficult time dealing with my intense feelings of emotional pain regarding particular relationships.  There is a desperate desire within me for my relationships to be full of joy, grace, peace, and love.  

I have repeatedly asked God the same questions over and over: “Why does it have to be this way?  How long must it be this way?  I’m hoping it will be different in the future.  Will my hope materialize?  Is that day near or far?  Why must it hurt so deeply and continuously?  Why can’t I just release the situation, trust You are working in it, and not let it hurt me so much?  What am I doing wrong?  Am I taking things too personal?  What am I seeing wrong? What can I do to help correct what’s wrong?  How do I change this person’s perception of me and my motives?  How do I impart the truth?”


What are we to do when we love a person so much and want to share many things with them, but they just won’t have it or allow it?  They have put up a brick wall between our hearts and theirs and will not allow us in.  I profusely love and express the love in so many different ways, hoping to convince them of my love, but to no avail.  Instead, they seem convinced in their mind that my acts and expressions of love are to bother or intrude upon them. 

What are we to do when our love and expressions of that love are totally ignored?  We try and try to make amends, to show we care, to give of ourselves, and it is carelessly ignored.  What happens when we feel so unimportant to someone who we consider so very important to us?

Yesterday, as I considered my heart ache, the circumstances, and the questions, I went for my daily 4-mile walk.  These walks have become treasured times of reflecting, praying, singing, and of worshiping the Lord.  During these walks, I am energized by Him.  I have termed them “Empowerment Walks”.  I desperately needed empowering yesterday. 

As I began my walk, I played my iPod, as usual.  An upbeat song began to play first, and I had no desire to listen to it whatsoever!  Oh no, I needed something much calmer to match my sober mood and quickly skipped on to the next song.  It was the song that God had specifically planned for that moment.   The words began like this:

And the problem is this
We were bought with a kiss
But the cheek still turned
Even when it wasn’t hit

And I knew very well what Christ, my Lord, was telling me.  “Mary Ann, you must love anyway.  When you love and love and hurt so deeply from such love because it is not returned or it is spurned, continue to love anyway.  This is the love I give.  This is the love I have.  This is the love I offer every person in this world, every moment of every day.  While I offer that love, the cheeks are turned; my love is spurned.  However, withholding my love is not an option, nor is it possible.”

And the following words of the song expressed my human emotions.

And I don’t know
What to do with a love like that
And I don’t know
How to be a love like that

Deep down, I know I am to love anyway.  I want to be able to love that way.  Although, I’m not sure I know how in the world to go about regularly offering a love like that—a love that gives everything and does not expect or need anything back in return. 

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)

That is the very love of God in Christ Jesus, our Lord.  The Love spoken of in those verses is our Lord.  It is the love He is and the love He does.  It does not seek its own…it bears all things…it hopes all things…endures all things…

Human instinct tells us to flee from pain; it tells us to preserve and protect ourselves—to seek its own.  When we are hurt, we want to immediately put up protection from that hurt.  Our minds try to rationalize that if we don’t love or give of ourselves to the ones who reject us, they can no longer have the power to hurt our hearts.

The Lord also lovingly reminded me that He has loved me at every moment of my life.  At my worst, He loved me anyway.  When I turned the cheek away from Him and did not love Him back, He loved me anyway.  When I did horrible things, He loved me in spite of those things.  He has forgiven me so very much, much more than I have ever had to forgive of anyone who has wronged me.  His arms have always been open wide and waiting for whenever the time would come for me to run into them and accept and trust His love. 

I am far from having all the answers to this dilemma of loving with a love like that.  I am far from being an expert in loving with a love like Christ’s.  All I know is that He loves me—all of us—with a love like that.  He loves with a love that knows no boundaries, knows no conditions, and knows no end.  I also know that I am Christ’s, and He is mine.  I know His spirit fills me and that through Him I can do all things because He gives me the strength necessary to do everything He has ordained for me to do. 

When I am hurting and don’t think I can endure any more pain in having someone spurn my love or my outstretched hand, He will show me how and empower me to keep loving anyway.  I am trusting Him to unceasingly pour His love through me and unto others.  I do this one moment at a time, while I continue to seek His love to fulfill all my needs.  I am still learning so much about what it means for Him to be my All in all.




Only by His love and grace,
Mary Ann

For a follow up post, see "Christ is My Lifeline"

3 comments:

  1. where did you find the picture of God hugging the little girl?

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    Replies
    1. Abbey, I Googled images of "Jesus hugging". I do not remember the exact phrase I used at the time I found this image. It could have been "Jesus hugging" or "Jesus hugging child". Something along those lines. Hope that helps.

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    2. thank you! I want to put the picture in my room framed so thank you for the information!(:

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