Does anyone else have people in your life who challenge everything you ever thought you knew about love? Looking around at all the dysfunction in the world, I can't imagine I'm in a minority. So I pray.
Who better to ask than the Author of love?
How does He answer?! He sends into my life this week three different people. As each one tells their life story, my mouth drops (figuratively). One woman had as many offenses committed against her as anyone possibly could. She committed a few of her own. But she enthusiastically states that forgiveness is the only way to healing, that Jesus died to rescue her from herself and her circumstances and that it's okay not to be perfect, because He is. And we can rest in Him.
Another lost his father at age four, had a challenging life. Still another was an orphan, adopted, abused, drug user, armed robber, convict, yet he found salvation in Jesus Christ and reads with joy from Psalm 40:
1 I waited patiently for the LORD;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
3 He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear
and put their trust in the LORD.
4 Blessed is the man
who makes the LORD his trust,
who does not look to the proud,
to those who turn aside to false gods.
5 Many, O LORD my God,
are the wonders you have done.
The things you planned for us
no one can recount to you;
were I to speak and tell of them,
they would be too many to declare.
How can it be that these - who have had so little, been challenged by so much - can love and forgive? And I, the truly blessed one, need lessons?
I need to see with new eyes. I am truly blessed. How can I do anything less than love?