Ahhhh, convinction....how good you are for my soul

Love is not a place
To come and go as we please
It's a house we enter in
Then commit to never leave

So lock the door behind you
Throw away the key
We'll work it out together
Let it bring us to our knees

Chorus:
Love is a shelter in a raging storm
Love is peace in the middle of a war
And if we try to leave, may God send angels to guard the door
No, love is not a fight but it's something worth fighting forTo some, love is a word
That they can fall into
But when they're falling out
Keeping that word is hard to do

Chorus:
Love is a shelter in a raging storm
Love is peace in the middle of a war
And if we try to leave, may God send angels to guard the door
No, love is not a fight but it's something worth fighting for

Love will come to save us
If we'll only call
He will ask nothing from us
But demand we give our all

Chorus:
Love is a shelter in a raging storm
Love is peace in the middle of a war
And if we try to leave, may God send angels to guard the door
No, love is not a fight but it's something worth fighting for

I will fight for you
Would you fight for me?
It's worth fighting for

Did you know the word Love (and different variations of love) is used 697 times in the NIV of the bible. You think God was trying to send us a message?

697.

i dont think ive used any word 697 times, except maybe like- or well, i use those two alot. Well in 23 years im sure ive used everyword that many times, but not written in my one and only autobiography. throughout the past several weeks, i've found myself at multiple crossroads, all of which somhow end up in the same place. they all take me back to the same place, am i being loved well and am i loving well. let you in on a secret...mostly the answer is no. sometimes yes to one or the other, and rarely yes to both- but mostly No.

I was talking with a friend today, both of us being very honest with our frustrations in realationships in our lives and both of us speaking truth to ourselves while trying to speak truth to the other.
So we decide to go on a walk today. it was cool and overcast, but a beautiful walk. She begins to share with me her frustrations about her relationship and a conversation she had with her best friend the day before, and as we are walking I'm listening and I'm having some thoughts run through my head and certain things she says sticks out to me but mostly im listening, genuinely. I can hear the frustration in her voice and the confusion and after she finishes telling me whats going on she tells me her best friends perspective. Which is a typical best friends perspective...her friend wants to protect her heart and defend her at all cost....she's a good friend. After she has finished she asks me my thoughts. I stop and I think and I kinda sorta try to get thoughts together and communicate them and its coming out a big tongue tied mess so I stop. I pull it together quickly then i talk...I give her my opinion, I tell her to a certain degree I agree with her friend and I understand where her friend is coming from.  I made the comment that in her relationship, her boyfriend somewhere along the way has stopped pursuing her and she agrees he hasn't been. Then for just a breif moment the Lord chimes in and has something to say that has stuck with me all day... God said (via me) that if we want someones heart, there is a price (particularly in this sense, a man and woman) If he wants my friends heart, there is a price he has to pay, she has already given it to him, but he has to earn it as well, prove himself worthy. Christ did the same thing for us. God knew he couldn't have our hearts without paying a price (cause we are nasty sinful) and he sent his son to buy them and everyday since He has proven himself worthy of keeping them. not because he has to but because he wants us to know without a shadow of doubt that WE ARE WANTED. And if her BF wants her heart, he has to prove himself worthy, and there is a price. Something that valueable and that sacred is not free. And even though the context is different, this is no less true of all relationships. If I want my friends to know and Love me and I know and love them, I have to pay the price. And it isn't a cheap one...

John 15:12&13 This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

WOW! There is the meat, no milk here, no nasty baby food- no noodles for toddlers; just big juicy serloin.

Christ knew this to be true and he set the ultimate example, If even God had to come to earth just to die in order to gain the priceless possesion of our hearts, what makes us think we are exempt? This here is the reason we are not God. Because we treat each others hearts as if they come in an endless supply. I have one heart to give and my friends have one heart to give and it already has been claimed for by our Precious Lamb of GOD and I cannot treat the possesions of my savior like a .25$ gumball out of a machine, where I chew it up and spit it out when I am done. It is his commandment I die to myself for my friends, b/c my best friend layed his down for me...

I could not use another single bit of scripture in this and it not matter cuz those 2 verses single handedly carry the weight.

Good stuff, huh? convicting but man, its just like a good meal, it's good for the body and soul....oh and this only my half of the story.

take a deep breath, in-and-out.

okay, ready? good.

So moving on, we come back to my place and she asks me about me. I tell her my frustrations with one of my friends and how I am mad and I am hurt and I can't make sense of it... I go on and on and i finally say the truth is, is that in the whole thing I am frustrated with myself because I have let "things" become the reason I am lacking in intimacy with God...and that frustrates me more than the friend that frustrates me.

I yammer on about the hurt and how i don't want to let go but she reminds me that may be something i have to do, is let it happen, and i say (well read from my journal) I want to know this happening because its what God had in store all along, because I don't want to believe its because me or my friend are being sinful. I don't want to own up to my sin in this or admit that my friend is being sinful...I know that all things work together for the good of those who love him and keep his commands, (i.e. john 15) and I know God's plan is never thwarted, but I also know I don't want to be guilty in this circumstance. I know I have been, but I don't want to own to it.

But she intervenes and she begins to remind me of truth, that just because i have taken part in being sinful, I don't have to sit in that and my responsibility to myself and my friends is to move on, to make the wrongs right and not to allow my past sin keep me from living present truth, and part of that means I have to speak truth to my friends and rising above the sin and making the concious decision to live and love Life. None of this is new news, obviously, but it is a conviction that is consistant and I feel like it comes up in new areas of my life all the time and each time it is hard and it is good.

Every time I reflect on the things in my life that have led me to this place but specifically this occassion, I seem to carry this burden of my past and believing the lie that I have nothing to offer because I fall captive to the same sin that I am trying to speak my friends out of (particularly being unloving). It's just as Paul said, I do the very thing I don't want to do, and I want to do the very thing I know is wrong and Yet he seemed to overcome, Why? Because Paul understood something I struggle to grasp; that God is far bigger than my shortcomings....blaaaaah.

I hate the process of growth. I am way to impatient for it. But then Christ intervenes and He lets me have little glimpses of the beauty in the process. Hell I get so overwhelmed when I have moments like these, where He teaches just a little bit how to love like him....if he were to reveal his love in its entirety to me, it is probably accurate to assume that spontaneous explosion might occur. Regardless, these lessons in life and love and truth are what make my journey through the valley worth it....

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