The Power of Love

Have you ever just wanted to run away? I remember when I was little packing my suitcase and making myself a sandwich before I walked out the door. I think I made it to the street and started walking down it, and then got as far as my neighbor’s house and realized I didn’t have anywhere to go. So, I turned around and came back home. It made me feel good just to know that I had the guts to get that far. I just wanted somewhere to go to get away from my life.

I think we all just want to be loved by others.

We want to be accepted and understood.

I haven’t always been good at loving others because I was so full of condemnation for myself. I had a tendency to feel that way towards others. I will come right out and say that I would judge others for their actions and their words. Now of course there are certain things that people do that are wrong and it should upset us, but Jesus calls us to a higher standard. He calls us to love one another like He has loved us. John 13:34

It is really hard to love certain people in our lives. We all have people that really irritate us or hurt us or make our lives miserable, but Jesus still calls us to love them. I have learned that there are certain people that are toxic and we need to stay away from them and love them at a distance. Then there are those who mildly irritate us and we are able to be in the same room with and then we can love them with the help of the Holy Spirit. We all have those relatives or friends that we have to see that we normally wouldn’t hang out with but we still have to love them. The only way I am able to love the difficult people in my life is with the help of the Holy Spirit. He is the only one who can do it because I definitely am not able to do it myself.

It took me a long time to realize that I had to have boundaries with certain people. This would be the people I need to love from a distance. I couldn’t allow myself to be in a relationship with them because they hurt me or caused me to stumble in my faith or think poorly of myself. I had to choose God over them. I wanted a relationship so badly with some people, but God clearly wanted me to steer clear of them. I fought the Lord over some of them, but I eventually realized He was right and I needed to do what He wanted me to do. Susie Larson says, “God gets to decide how my life goes, and in every season, I will believe Him to be big in my midst. He rewards those who seek Him. He works for those who wait for Him. He blesses those who are willing to persevere. When the Lord leads us on a path over grown with thickets and sea branches, it’s because there is a healing pool on the other side. The blessings far outweigh the battle.” So, I had to decide that pleasing the Lord was more important than pleasing myself or others.

I have had some huge battles in my life. I really didn’t know how to fight them correctly until I went to counseling and started reading and studying God’s word. There are some things in our lives that we cannot handle alone. We need others to come along side us and pray for us and encourage us and help us. We need to be there for one another and not make others feel stupid or weird. I called myself “loser”, “afraid”, “ugly”, “idiot”. etc. I didn’t need anyone else to make me feel weird because I already felt that way about myself. I think most of us do that to ourselves too. We call ourselves names and then start to believe it. We don’t need anyone else chiming in! (Those are the folks we need to love from a distance!)

The Lord does not want us to beat ourselves up. Satan does, but God doesn’t. We need to confess our issues to Him and let Him deal with them. He wants us to give Him our minds and allow Him to work in our thoughts. Susie Larson states, “You were toughest on the prideful and most tender with the grimy sinner. You spent time with the ones that knew they needed you. Our heavenly Father is scandalously humble, abundantly loving, and purposely forgiving.” And I am going to add that this is how we are supposed to be with one another as well. We need to give each other a break and realize that living on this earth is hard and we need to support one another and love one another.

Every single person that lives on this planet has issues. I used to think that I was the only one that had any, but as I have grown older, I realize that there are so many hurting people out there. A lot of them haven’t felt like they have had anyone to turn to. I realize that a lot of us aren’t equipped to help in a counseling manner, but we can love and we can pray and we can support one another.

For years I put on my acting face and didn’t say a word about how I felt inside. I was going through deep depression and then high anxiety that threatened my mental stability. I was afraid to tell anyone because I believed Satan’s lie that no one could accept me the way I was. But, then the most wonderful thing happened. God met me right where I was and He told me He loved me and He was going to help me get through it. He became real to me. He showed me compassion, gentleness, kindness, forgiveness, truth, and love. He showed me what it is like to be his child. He guided me towards truth and He renewed my mind with His words.

I know I developed a lot of my issues because I didn’t feel loved by my earthly father. I desperately wanted to be loved and accepted by him. I spent most of my life trying to make him love me by trying to please him and let me tell you I wasted a lot of my life doing that. I finally realized that I have a heavenly Father who loves me unconditionally. His love gave me life while the other love that I was trying to get from my earthly father brought me pain and anguish. One was life giving and the other was life sucking. I know that my brother David had so many issues because he didn’t feel loved by my Dad and I am going to go out on a limb and say that I feel like most people develop the same issues because of a lack of love in their lives. We either don’t feel loved by others or we don’t love ourselves or both. I know I didn’t love myself very much and I was trying to fill that void with other things in my life. You simply cannot love others until you let His love fill you. I have tried and I have failed to do it on my own.

We are able to have an incredible love that is far better than any human relationship can give you with our heavenly Father. He can and will fill you with all the love you need. He can also supply all the forgiveness, kindness, acceptance, gentleness and joy that you desire. He made us to love one another and forgive one another and He made us to love Him with all our hearts. My brain will never understand why He loves us so much. His love far surpasses anything this world can give us. It took me a long time to realize how much He loves me because if I were Him I would have given up on me a long time ago. But when I look at Him as a parent and I realize that I would never stop loving my kids and I would do anything for them, then I am able to understand His great love. He really is my Father and He wants to love me and help me live my life on this earth.

So friends, we need to love each other and ourselves because that is what God has commanded us to do. We live in a hurting world that is desperate for love and we are the physical representation of God. People need to see love in us. So, won’t you please let the Lord love you and heal you. Instead of running away, run into His great, big arms where you will find shelter and love. If you need a hug, I am here for you. If you need an ear to listen, I am here for you. If you need to scream and yell, I can listen to that too! (I’ve had lots of practice with that one!) If you need someone to pray for you, I am the girl for you. If you need someone to love you, I will love you!  And now that I have said that, I want you to picture our great and mighty heavenly Father saying the same words to you. You can tell Him anything and He won’t walk away and He will be right by your side encouraging you and loving you. I know this is true because He has been there for me. Won’t you please turn to Him? You won’t be sorry! He loves you so much because He allowed His one and only Son to die for you and me. Now, that’s the power of love! (I hear Huey Lewis singing The Power of Love in my mind right now.) Until next time….

John 13:35 “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

1 Peter 3:8 “Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.”

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