Saturday, February 28, 2015

Love Wins

I was reading a fellow-blogger's post this morning and it brought tears to my eyes to see God's love in action because she included a video that demonstrated how it works so very well. (Click the link I've embedded in the bold print in the first line of this paragraph to read her post and watch the video.) 

Truth be told, just like my blogger friend, I am tired of "settling" for a version of God that says, "He is Love BUT..." And of course, after the BUT there are a whole host of exceptions that are supposed to prove the rule. They don't. 

Photo "Fountain" courtesy of dan at
Either God is love or He isn't. Either He wants the best for me or He doesn't. It's that simple. It's that clear-cut. I open my heart before you today, having seen some pretty awful stuff in my life. Child abuse, peer bullying, abuse of authority in school, the workplace, and the church, addiction, grief, and the constant self-questioning and God-questioning that comes in irrational, vicious shouts from my own monkey-brain. 

Yet I believe, even in spite of all of that, that God is love, that God loves me. That He loves everyone. That Jesus is the perfect representation of who God is.

No ifs. No buts. Unconditional love. No darkness, no shadow of turning, as James puts it. No holds barred. Passionate, pure, unadulterated love, completely independent of my response.

And love wins. 

It wins when I sit in the dark on a winter's morning and wonder how I'll get up off the edge of the bed and get going on the day. It wins when I see the ones I love in physical and psychological pain. It wins when I fear what the next person will say or think. It wins when my heart breaks in grief. Love wins when the doctor says there's no hope. It just does. 

Because He is there. He loves. He cares. He wins. Every time.

Sometimes I don't have the faith it takes to move the mountains in my life. Then I realize it's absolutely not about how much faith I have or don't have, but where I put it: in Him. I don't need to embrace Him (although I do, and I love to) because He is already embracing me. He's got me. He's got my back (and every other part of me). I don't need to stress out. He's there, and He loves me. His love doesn't depend on my performance. It doesn't work like that. He delights in me. I make Him sing! (Zephaniah 3:17)

Can I relax in that? Dare I believe that He is that good? If I did, what would that look like? Perhaps it would look like my friend's favorite video. Perhaps it would be slightly different - but I can guarantee that people's lives would be irreversibly impacted, starting with mine

I'm only beginning to grasp the unconditional love of God; the more I do, the more I am persuaded that His love doesn't look anything like what we've become accustomed to in the western church. And because of this meditation I've been doing on Him being love, the more I am inclined to think that we've gotten the Christian life backward. We don't obey to receive His blessing at all.  He blesses us because He loves us far beyond our capability to receive ... and it is from the overflow of that love that we can't help but want to share the good news that is Him - the good news of Love coming down - the good news that there is nothing or no-one that can withstand Him. 

Because He is Love. And Love wins.

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