Posted by: karanoel | April 12, 2011

Love, God, life, & freedom

Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away. Song of Solomon 8:7

Yep, that's what love looks like

Do you ever have those moments where you get it? I mean, when everything just finally makes sense? I remember this happening in school, maybe with a math concept. I generally got the formulas and could plug numbers in and spit out a correct answer. But I didn’t usually understand the concept well enough to apply it to anything more significant than lined paper on a veneer desk. Every once in a while, though, this narrow tunnel of the algebra classroom would shoot me out into this wide open space of understanding. Suddenly those concepts mattered. It was thrilling.

While I enjoy and appreciate algebra, this is way better than that. It is about love and God and life and freedom. Talk about thrilling. I can hardly contain myself. And yet I have no idea how to say it. But I’m gonna try.

It all starts and ends with love. I can’t believe how easy it is to get wrapped up in religion and totally miss this radically life-changing truth. God gave his son because of love. The Son gave his life because of love. For you. For me. For all the jacked up people of this world.

Not because we were deserving. We were – and are – so far from deserving anything but death and judgment. If we haven’t yet seen the contents of our own hearts or reached the end of our own resources, it may be difficult to grasp this. It’s why the Pharisees couldn’t receive from Jesus but the prostitutes and tax collectors could. But it is true. Our very best is putrid and bemired next to the purity of our Lord.

And yet this purity reached into the darkness of our sin and shook the foundations of the earth and our lives with Love. He looked on us with compassion and gave a mercy that cost everything. Because love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

How resistant I have been to lay down my rights. I’ve wanted things in my own way and my own time. I’ve wanted to love the people I deem worthy with the measure I feel capable of. I’ve been fearful, controlling, and manipulative. I’ve been ruled by self-interest, putting my own needs above those around me. How little I’ve understood of love.

Last week I determined to persist in thanking God for loving me. So I wake up in the middle of the night and thank him for loving me. I sit at my desk at work and thank him for loving me. I interrupt my thoughts of self-condemnation and fear to thank him for loving me. Because true love is the only thing capable of true change.

Something interesting has happened in this process. Rather than feeling the expected warm fuzzies toward myself, I have finally been able to see past myself. I have been able to see others; to love them in some measure without regard for myself. How sweet the surrender that allowed this love to flow as it was meant to. It wasn’t ever intended to stop at the edges of me, but to continue on to the ends of the earth.

Love sets us free from the confines of our own way. It is so much bigger, wider, deeper, higher than anything we could ever create with the building blocks of our will and desire. It reaches beyond us, sends darkness running, looses chains, touches hearts, and changes history. It is humble. It is mighty. It does not exclude, but extends itself to all. It can’t be measured, controlled, or contained. It takes no account of wrongs suffered and demands no reciprocation. It is the most beautiful thing that ever existed and it changes everything. All I can say is thank you God for loving me… for loving us… and for pouring your love through us like fresh water on a hot and thirsty world.

Deep In Your Eyes (There Is A River) by Jon Foreman


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