Love Is…

Love is a powerful emotion. For love of an idea, people kill; for love of another, people commit adultery; for love of humanity, people sacrifice comfort and security to serve. Love is appreciated by everyone, yet love can prove as devastating as a forest fire if left to follow its own course.

So Jesus places love within certain boundaries. He did nothing that the Father did not command, out of love for his Father. We are invited to do nothing beyond Christ’s command, as a consequence of loving him. And here is the challenge. For obeying Jesus invites us to set our own desires to one side and then adopt the radical requests God makes of us.

As I watched Katey slowly deteriorate with MS, my love for her made me angry with everyone and everything. I was also angry with God and I was angry with myself. With God because I wanted him to supernaturally reverse the disease; with myself because I had no control over events and was unable to rescue my wife.

The weight of my powerlessness was overwhelming; what had I to offer or to say to my dear wife? Then God reminded me of my promise to love Katey in sickness as much as in health. I might want to inhabit a different story, yet this was the story I was called to live. Instead of fighting God, I needed to discover how to love God through obedience.

So began a journey of discovering the truth of God’s presence in our circumstances, regardless of the fact that they were not of our own choosing. Love offered bread for the journey, water to refresh the soul, truth to plot a course; however, was my heart bold and big enough to respond to such love?

It was only as I chose to humble myself and began to seek first the kingdom, as instructed by Christ, that together we discovered that Christ was present in a world we’d been struggling so hard to escape. It required much of us; yet we found our reward in the fullness of God.

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With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

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Truth

We are all seeking after truth. The problem is that we have to a large extent lost confidence in the purveyors of truth. So much of what is presented as truth, as in objective reality, is simply subjective opinion, canvassed for the purpose of bolstering someone’s cause in the hope that more of us will climb aboard. Politicians speak less truth and more majority opinion.

Strangely, our common perception of truth meaning both accuracy and correctness didn’t enter the English language until the mid-13th century. The word in its original sense meant ‘fidelity, loyalty, covenant’.

Certainly there is a sense of reliability and trustworthiness, yet not the demand for proof beyond contradiction. In this sense, all truth invites us to exercise a measure of faith in its veracity.

As Katey and I first navigated our way through childlessness, then encountered the mountain of MS, it was the faithfulness of God that we most craved. There was little space or need to debate theological truisms, we required contact with the source of our hope, God himself.

We found that all the truths we assembled about MS and its impact, the accumulated neurological expertise on how best to manage the disease, useful, yet not especially comforting or reassuring. The facts were, in truth, of little value in enabling us to plot our course together through stormy seas.

What we desperately needed was the experience of knowing God was with us, while also assuring God that we chose to walk with him. It was difficult, as is true of all committed relationships.

We argued and we fought with the Lord, yet discovered God was both up for the fight and remained with us even as the dust settled. Here was covenantal love; and we responded by choosing to keep faith in God as truth. This was a robust love that could not break.

When Jesus describes himself as the Truth, he describes a love that was formed at the very birth of creation and which endures until the very end of time. And that’s a fact!

(Dr Micha Jazz)

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With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey