But ironically there is another job I'm working at lately. It's not a new one, but one with a learning curve that goes far beyond the nursing one. Many days I am frustrated and clueless of how it works... and I'm not catching on very well. A couple times I have just wanted to quit.
Today I stumbled on this quote from Francis Chan and it has broken me. Ultimately, I have allowed the stresses of life and even silly circumstances to dictate my behavior, in a negative way. Some days I could even say my love for others and God appears like it has dwindled down to not much of anything. This quote started as a blog post that was intended for my readers to get a "lesson"... but through many edits, tears and confessions... I know God placed this quote before me, for me.
I am simply to love.
Love should illuminate from every word I speak, every action I take. And not just when the moment feels right or when things are going my way. Not just when bank accounts are full or when life is in perfect order... not only then. But in times of hurt and disorder and despair. When I'm completely lonely, misunderstood or wrongfully accused. When no one cares to think of me or when I'm the one left out and unnoticed. Yes, even then, I'm suppose to be about love. Showing and doing it.
It's a full time, divine occupation.
This job of loving needs to be done when it feels uncomfortable and messy inside. You may know what I'm talking about. When things aren't done our way, we start to get that weird feeling that we know isn't right, but something in us doesn't want to stop it's momentum and we end up saying what feels perfectly justified - to us - regardless who gets hurt. That's pride and selfishness winning. Not love.
Clocking-out shouldn't be a choice with this job. Signing up for a quick get-away and retirement aren't healthy options.
But I'm slowly learning. Slowly.
I'm learning that real love isn't dependent on the circumstances going on around it. It supernaturally rises above. It stays on track regardless of the turbulent winds whipping all around it.
And it goes even deeper.
In 1 John 4:18 it says...
God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us. This way, love has the run of the house, becomes at home and mature in us, so that we’re free of worry on Judgment Day—our standing in the world is identical with Christ’s. There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love.When I do things opposite of love it is tied to fear. If I can get to the point of understanding where I stand in God's view -- I am His daughter and am completely loved by Him -- I have nothing to fear. Those things that brought me fear, then anger or pain are seen differently now because when I am in Christ, all fears are gone. And when I can grasp and grow from that, I can then shrug off my angst and start to be love and do love.
Practicing real love starts from truly knowing Jesus and what He is about. His character is grace, mercy and abiding love for us, his children. We need to let this truth steep long into our souls. Once we understand how much he loves us regardless of our messes and inadequacies, we can turn around and do the same to the world around us.
This job of loving is continuous and will always be a learning curve for me. I'm grateful for a God who not only erases my sins, but also helps me erase the fears that blind me to what real love is.
Do you have fears that are hindering you to truly love like Christ? Ask God to help you identify and confess them and then move to a place of grace, mercy, and pure love.