Earlier God woke me up telling me I needed to redefine love. He and I had a long conversation on this. I wrote an article on what we had discussed. Sometimes God has a keen sense of humor and I don’t always like it.
After talking it over I realized I needed to redefine my love for others. Maybe I was holding back in some areas that I could do better in. I agreed to try to be more loving in certain areas of my life. One of the key areas was loving those who were different than me, who I didn’t always agree with. I agreed to change my thought patterns.
A few days later after dealing with all of this I went into the place I volunteer. It was an ordinary day. The office manager was gone; it was just a couple of friends and me holding down the fort. When I get a challenging client I try to pass it off onto the Office Manager. She challenges me to work through it. I appreciate her doing that. My friend was in the front office and I was back in the client room. My friend had come in earlier and told me about a certain client we were expecting to get. Her husband who volunteers in the grocery store had talked to this person and suggested he come in and talk to us. He needed food and clothing. He was also homeless and was a relative young man. She went on to describe some of his situation. My hair stood up on end. God was challenging me. He was sending me a person who He has pointed out that I often hold my love from. Really God? He knows me better than I know myself. It’s one thing to say I will try to put into practice something that needs changing, but to actually do it is something else. God needed to know if I was real; sincere. How better to do it than to test me?
Abraham loved God. I think God knew that. God also knew the plans He had for Abraham and God needed to know how sincere Abraham really was so what did He do? He tested Abraham by sending him out to sacrifice his son. Read the story in Genesis 22. God at the last minute saves Isaac. God knows Abraham is sincere in his faith. Now here was my test. How sincere was I about loving others the way God wants me to?
Before the gentleman came in I sent out prayers to my prayer group asking them to pray that I would be able to handle this situation. God works in a mysterious, wonderful way. The young man was late in coming in. I got my prayer request sent and waited. There was enough time that I received a prayer of courage and wisdom back from one of my closest friends. Then the young man shows up.
With God’s help and my friend praying I was able to help this young man. I asked him questions, gave him some advice, and gave him numbers that would help with counseling. You see this young man and his family were not on speaking terms. In fact, this young man had been rejected by his family for his beliefs. He was kicked out of his home and living in a car; a dangerous situation. The look of rejection softened my heart. How could I reject him anymore? I wouldn’t be any better than his parents if I didn’t offer something to him. When it came time to pray I ask the young man if he believed in prayer. His eyes lit up and he said yes. I prayed with this young man. The words were not mine but from God. He left feeling a little bit better about himself and the world around him. I learned a valuable lesson; it’s not about me. It’s about offering Jesus’ love through me to those the I find unlovable.
Another client that day came in was pregnant, not knowing who the father was, was alone with no support. She said she didn’t even know if God loved her. She certainly couldn’t feel His love anymore. I believe this young lady was looking for love in all the wrong places. I shared and talked with her. I helped her in getting some counseling and prayed with her. My prayer was that God would make His presence felt in her life and that somehow she’d find God’s love. I reassured her God loved her.
There were also a few more challenges that day. Only God would know who needed to see me.
That day was challenging on so many sides. I think God was bringing in people who He knew I often held His love from. Was I really willing to step out of my comfort zone and love those who I don’t agree with or whose lifestyles I might not approve of?
I really thought I was a loving, caring person. God affirmed I am, but only to those who are like me, who live my kind of lifestyle or are of the same mind set. I am learning to redefine love in God’s terms; the way God wants me to. It will be challenging and difficult.
I was being watched in the office to see just how I would handle what was given to me. I have professed to being a Christian now would my actions align up with my words? I did confess afterwards that it was a challenge, and I hoped I did what God had called me to do.
God didn’t stop with the lesson. I am watching a spiritual conference on my phone. Today they were discussing the practice of lectio divina. “In Christianity, Lectio Divina (Latin for “Divine Reading”) is a traditional Benedictine practice of scriptural reading, meditation and prayer intended to promote communion with God and to increase the knowledge of God’s Word. It does not treat Scripture as texts to be studied, but as the Living Word.” (From Wikipedia). During the video the presenter picked out 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 for us to go through. What I heard from God came in verse 5, “Love is not rude, is not selfish, and does not get upset with others. Love does not count up wrongs that have been done.” Love is not rude. I never thought I was perfect, but this has hit me hard. God is dealing with me and I am learning to redefine love and to make sure I am getting it He is challenging me on all fronts. He doesn’t hold his love back on me so why should I hold my love back on others?
God does not make us change; it’s our choice. He challenges us to be more like Him and follow in His footsteps. We have the choice to follow Him; to become more Christ like and less human or to walk away from Him. He wants us to surrender all; not just a part of us. What’s cool about God is it’s a long process; not an instant process. He’s been working on me for a long time. I am now where I am at on my faith walk where He’s comfortable in dealing with some of the bigger issues of my life. We’ve worked through the junk now it’s time for the bigger issues to be resolved.
God wants to work in your life as well. He wants you to become more Christ like and less human, but before that happens we need to work on getting rid of those things that hinders us from being the person God wants us to be. We don’t work on those things alone. God is walking alongside us and helping us. He has sent the Holy Spirit to help us, as well as Pastors, friends, family and His Word.
God challenges us along the way, but He only challenges us enough to be able to pass the test. He will never challenge us more than we can handle.
For me it’s redefining love. For you it may be something different. God will let you know if you ask. It will be challenging and in the long run worth it. The race is never fun, but the prize is always the best thing at the end. It’s the same way with us. Who is willing to run the race with me?
Dear God: Wow! We have managed to get through the junk and throw out the little incidentals; now it’s time to work on getting rid of those big eyesores that I haven’t dealt with. I know you won’t give me more than I can handle at one time. Now it’s about redefining love. You are also testing me to see if I like Abraham; sincere. I know the results of Abraham’s decision I hope my results are similar. I don’t think you have plans for me like Abraham, but you do want sincerity. I want to give that too you. Walk with me as I learn about love from you and what real love is like. When I cross paths with those that I have always withheld love from help me to put my ways behind and to love them with your love. Let me show them your love. Thank you for your love, grace and mercy, may I pass that on to others in all walks of life walking this journey. Amen