Sunday, April 8, 2018

A Loving Heart

"Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the Lord." 
                                                                                                                                 -Psalm 31:24
It is amazing to start at the beginning of this chapter when the first words say, "In you, Lord, I have taken refuge." and in verse 6 it says, "as for me, I trust in the Lord." 

As someone who is still going through grief these words should be my heart cry. I love this chapter in Psalm as David cries out to the Lord yet clings to Him through it all. No matter how many times David, doubts, questions, or displays his frustration for the current situation he is in, he always come back to the Lord's faithfulness. David finds through all the wrestling that the Lord is trustworthy. David also came to realize that he was nothing on his own and needed the Lord and His strength. Honestly, this resonates with me more than I probably want to admit. It hits home with the relationship aspect between David and the Lord.

I read this week, "It's not the end of your story. God has more in store for you. He loves you with an unfailing love. Chase after the Lord more than any relationship." DotK

Relationships come in many different shapes and sizes. There are family, friends, acquaintances, best friends, dating, marital, personal, and many other types The quote above says, "chase after the Lord more than any relationship." Do you agree or disagree? 

If you look throughout the Bible there are plenty of chapters and verses that discuss the relational side of Jesus. He was and is completely relational. "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16 In Luke 8:43-48 It talks about a woman who reached out from the crowd and touched Jesus' clothing. Here's what is amazing about Jesus. He STOPPED, asked who touched him, and connected with the woman trembling in fear for being found out she had touched Him in hope of being healed. Jesus could have easily kept on walking fully knowing what had happened. However, He STOPPED to talk to this one woman. I don't doubt there were more accounts of this as to how Jesus lived His life. He was all about the relationships. The main relationship He was most concerned about was with His Father. Having a right relationship with God the Father was the top of the pyramid. Everything else falls into place when the relationship is right with God the Father. It doesn't mean that you do not have to work at relationships even if your relationship is right with the Lord. Rather I think it shows us just how intricate, detailed, and important relationships actually are. 

We are commanded to have loving relationships as well. John 15:12-13- "My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends." There is a constant choice to be a part of relationships. In the book The Broken Way it says, "The best use of your hands is always love. The best way to say I love you is always time. The best time to love is always now." Some of you reading this may be experts on relationships and completely know how to love others and love them well. I on the other hand am not an expert. I aspire to be a loving friend to those around me, in other states, and to those I am connected to around the world. I think it comes down to every interaction, every conversation, every reaction, and a well planned out use of time. People aren't to do lists. Though I have made lists like that in order to not forget who I need to connect with. The same goes for the relationship with the Lord. It shouldn't just be something on your list of things to do in order for you to check it off. It is about connection. It is a relationship.

I think there is a lot of processing on this particular subject for many reasons for me. One: going through grief has changed my perspective on people and relationships. Two: Challenging and strained relationships get me questioning. Three: I am leaving a place where I am surrounded by friends who deeply care for me not because they are obligated to but because they actively choose to be. Four: I am going to begin embarking on a new journey of meeting new people, starting new relationships, and venturing out into the unknown. I want to be prepared in order to love others and love them well. This is just some of what the Lord has been laying upon on my heart in regards to relationships and I wanted to share, challenge, or create some questioning thoughts in my life as well as others.

"To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken." -C. S. Lewis

How will you choose to love others?

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