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