“The Lord is testing your loved one,” Pastor Freddie told me several weeks ago. My loved one was in ICU with his life hanging on the line – yet again. “God wants to know whether your loved one will love Him even when life is this hard,” Pastor Freddie essentially said. “Just like Job.”
I couldn’t help but think of myself. Do I love God when life hurts, when I don’t like my circumstances, and when I don’t get what I want? Yes. Yes. Yes. I love God more than I ever have, I am seeking Him like never before, and yet I am hurting beyond description.
My circumstances? It doesn’t really matter. My hurt? It’s really inconsequential. What I want that I am not getting? In the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t make a difference. So what bears significance in all this? I love the Lord. I love the Lord. I love the Lord. I have not stopped loving Him. In fact, my love seems to grow by the day – even when I am not aware of it.
So what does God require of me? His Word tells me that if I love Him, I will obey Him. With the exception of one area of my life in which I am experiencing a greater struggle with obedience, I can truthfully say I am seeking as best I am able to do what God tells me to do. The Lord does not just desire my love. He wants my obedience. I have a long way to go, but at least I am on my way, right?
The bottom line is this. The world tends to focus on whether others are showing us unconditional love. Or, sometimes, the world focuses on whether we are unconditionally loving others. Believers in Jesus Christ talk about God’s unconditional love for us. But how often do we discuss our unconditional love for Him?
Most importantly of all, rather than merely discussing it, how many of us can say we unconditionally love Him? We all fall short of God’s glory, but at the very least let us begin walking in the right direction.
For this 24 hours, instead of considering who may or may not love you, why not focus on unconditionally loving God?
1Jn 4:19 “We love him, because he first loved us.”
RECOMMENDED READING: 1 John 4
ENCOURAGEMENT: Study how God calls us to believe His love for us, not just to know it. Study how God tells us that we will love others if we truly love Him. We have a long way to go, don’t we? But through Christ, with the Lord’s strength and Word, we can learn to love as He calls us – to love Him, and to love others.