Thursday, March 27, 2008

How do you see love?

I am an avid journaler. I love it when Papa speaks His heart to me. One day this week I drew away to talk to Him about love.
Honestly I found it difficult to approach Him, after all I had not responded well to a situation at home the day before. I found myself tenative and ashamed to sit with Him. I knew in my heart that He was not disappointed with me, but in my head I could just see the look of disappointment on His face. I found it difficult to believe He would want to talk to me. He proved me wrong.
Here's what He spoke to me:
"I always want to talk with you, Jewel. My love is not conditional. That means I am not loving you based on actions or mistakes. If you base my love and acceptance on actions and conditions, then it will always fail you. I do not welcome you because of your good behavior. I welcome you because you are mine. I'm not like people. I'm perfect and my love is perfect. I don't base my love on your mistake or successes. I always want you here with me. I am never disappointed with you, though I do hurt FOR you when you get caught up in the world, the flesh and the enemy's lies. You base my love on actions too. Don't base my love on what you see me doing or not doing. Base it on who I am."
It's true. He's right. I do base his love on conditional things, often. When I pray and He is silent I know in my heart that He never leaves me or forsakes me, but how quickly the feelings rise up that say, "does He care?" "Has He forgotten me?" "Do I matter to Him?" It's easy to do. After all we have never seen Him face to face. All that we choose is by faith. Jesus tells Thomas in the book of John that blessed are those who have not seen Him, yet believe. I wonder why we are more blessed. After all we have the battles with doubt and unbelief that those who saw didn't. They saw the evidences of His love. They could look in His eyes and see it, and more than that, they witnessed it up close and personal as He touched lives one at a time. It's hard living in the unseen faith. Could it be that they believed because they saw and we see because we believe?
It's so easy to base Papa's heart towards me on what He does or does not do. After all, we learn early on to look for the approval of those significant in our lives. But that's not true love. And that kind of love will always fail. When I base Papa's love on actions, whether mine or His, it cheapens love. It puts Him on a performance wheel with a grading system. You can't grade true love.
As I sat with Him He reminded me of the time one of my children told me that they did not feel important to me because of something I had not done. I was so frustrated when they said this. After all what about all the things I had done for them. Didn't they count for anything? I had given my life for them (to an extent). Was that nothing? A little more of His heart is revealed to me through my day to day life. It hurts when we put His love under conditions, just like it hurts me to hear my children looking at my actions and judging my love. Unfortunately it's more common that not with us followers of God.
We creatures of the earth are more familiar with conditional love than unconditional love. We look for proof. Blessed are those who have never seen, yet believe.
I left my time with Jesus that day asking Him to teach me how to live in the covenant of love with Him, allowing Him to cloak me with His embrace. He pledged His love for me and gave me His name. He loves me with an everlasting love, a love that never fails. It is unlike any love I have ever experienced or will experience. It's perfect and perfect love cannot be graded.
How about you? How do you see love?
" The LORD appeared to him from afar, saying, "I have loved you with an everlasting love: Therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness, Jeremiah 31:3
©copyrighted 2008 by Julie L. Todd


Vicki said... Reply to comment

This is so beautiful, Julie. I could relate to everything you said. God's love is overwhelming at times - we can scarce take it in!

You have a beautiful family, a sweet spirit, and a good God:-) I so enjoyed my visit with you this morning and rejoice with you. Thanks for your comments on my blogs recently. Sending a big hug!

In His magificent grace,

Tiffany Stuart said... Reply to comment

I love reading Papa's voice to you. Sounds like love to me. A greater love than I know how to give.

It's so good to meet you and read your heart. I feel a sister connection already.

I live in Colorado Springs. (answering your comment question on my blog.)

Connie@Little Red Hearts From God said... Reply to comment

Isn't His love just the best... It brings me to tears when I think of His love...

I just ordered a new book... He Loves Me by Jacobsen.. I believe that is the name of it... it's suppose to be awesome...

I'll let you know after I read it...

Hope you have a supernatural weekend my dear and wonderful friend

Laura said... Reply to comment

sometimes, when I put conditions on His love like that, in my quiet time I just close my eyes and imagine Him wrapping His arms around me. And I know how much He loves me. It's so hard to understand at times. We cannot love with a perfect love like His. The closest I come, I think, is with my children. No matter what they do, they will always have my heart. It is the same with Him for us. You truly are a precious Jewel, my sweet friend! I love your heart, and the wisdom you share. Thank you, dear one.

Amy said... Reply to comment


Thank you for sharing such a beautiful story about the love of Christ. His love is amazing! Jeremiah 31:3 is one of my favorite verses.

You are such a blessing!


Amy said... Reply to comment

Wonderfully written!

eph2810 said... Reply to comment

It is so true. We do base our love on circumstances/condition. That is our human nature. If I stumble and forget about the everlasting love our Heavenly Father, usually a song plays on the radio reminding me of His sacrificial love. He is cool like that - He never lets me forget about His love.

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on unconditional love.

Blessings to you and yours.

lori said... Reply to comment

Hey girl...WHAT a great post to start me off on Monday morning....
You know I LOVE coming here...your wisdom really sends me on my way!!

It IS unconditional...amazing as that is to US....

beautiful words from Papa....
Have a FABULOUS Monday...know you BLESSED me!!

Irritable Mother said... Reply to comment

I so appreciate the thoughts you have shared here.

His love is amazing.

If you have a minute, here's a link to an old post of mine when He showed me a lesson on His unconditional love:

Have a beautiful day!

Gretchen said... Reply to comment

What a lovely post. I hesitate to add anything because I found myself nodding and mmhmm-ing to every word.

I am waaaay too conditional in my thoughts on His love for me most of the time. Thank You Jesus, for not only speaking to Julie, but to me through her post. In Your name. Amen.

amycloud said... Reply to comment

Beautiful post. I have enjoyed visiting your blog. I clicked over from Windows to my soul. I will be back. God bless.

kmom3 said... Reply to comment

Oh, that I could grasp His deep, how high, how long, how wide! I continue to pray that He would help me to know deep within me His love for me....not so I can be puffed up or prideful, but so I can be so full that it will spill out in all I say and do. So that I can better love others.
Beautiful post, as always!
And I FINALLY changed the link on my page to this new link! :)
Blessings, sweet Julie!