Today, between Good Friday and Resurrection Day, I stand paused at the foot of the cross. I’ve just been through one of the most challenging weeks of my life, highlighted by what years of chronic illness that has been cyclical has brought to a head. Pain levels and associating discomfort became extreme and nearly feeling unbearable. This had a way of bringing me to the place to which I had to come. This being the ending of my identifying with certain elements within me that I deemed so important as being a part of me. I found myself suddenly incapable of doing “my things” These “things” that I have relied upon; these abilities and talents within my realm of experience, expressions of talents that I am good at bringing forth.
Most of my life I have longed to receive affirmation, appreciation, and recognition from others based upon what I consider necessary to be their desire and willingness to invest in time with me “based upon” what I have to offer to to them from “what I can do”. “What I do” does not really define “who I am”. So why have I placed so much emphasis on or value in what I am best at doing?
It is like I have been telling myself that if I don’t measure up to a certain level of performance in what I do best, then I have little to no value to offer and if that is true then others will not want to accept me or perhaps they won’t even be able to see me at all. I might as well be as “the invisble man” whose only purpose in life is to watch all the other people around me actively participating in the qualities of enjoying life together as couples or groups.
Wherein they seem to be having a full and rich life surrounded by expressions that appear to illustrate so much love, joy and fun “being had together” that apparently “I don’t get to have” in my life right now. I feel left out and deprived and not knowing how to “fix that”. Because I find myself single, feeling alone and isolated and it seems like I don’t fit into anyone else’s life “enough” to where they really want to invest in time with me to the extent that I can begin feel a great big hole in my heart that cries to be filled up with some measure of satisfaction that “just might” bring a sense of fulfillment to me.
Can any particular one person or handful of people even truly begin to fulfill what “in my mind’s eye” what the heart longs for? Are such expectations realistic? That is a pretty big “heavy” to drop on people isn’t it? Why would I even expect such from them? This illustrated to me that something was missing here from this picture or equation.
Do you or I know what may be missing here? I come to the conclusion that it is a
a misunderstanding of love. Is our perception of what qualifies love for you or I perhaps being measured primarily from a human standpoint? So what other standpoint would I seek to reference it from, you may be asking? Where does love stem from or originate? Let’s take a look at this.
“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. (1 John 3:1) Children exhibit from what their parents pour into them. Where or to the extent that the child does or does not experience the bond of love with the parent, their concept of what love is to be experienced as is thereby established. (Why we can’t know and love one another fully?)
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is “from God”, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live “through him”. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. (1 John 4:7-12)
Love originated with God and is “of Him”. Let us look at John 3. (Take a moment to read it)
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” He so very much loved you and I, that He gave His very best; His Son as a living sacrifice to demonstrate and illustrate what love truly is; through living it and then laying it down.
God did so in order that we may not be without the experience of His love in this life and that we could experience it for eternity, even beyond this life.
When Adam, through which separation from God was first experienced and came; lost sight of the identity that God had placed within the heart and in so doing thought he knew better than God and that there was perhaps more to be discovered than what he already had in God. He questioned whether that which “was enough” was truly enough? So he was tempted to question as to what God had already established.
So he went seeking beyond the Tree of Life and went to where God had warned him to not go; to the tree of knowing of good and evil. Then he was introduced to what ultimately divided man. The goodness of God was “no longer enough” so he invited into his heart the desire to know of “the opposite” of the goodness of God (glory). He gave up the glory of God’s presence to “gain’ the knowing of the “absence” of God’s Presence.
The great divide of humanity was born at that moment of action; when Adam in His mind questioned the goodness of God. In that process, he determined that he needed to justify being right; “the need to be right”.
His wife Eve was the one who actually took this step first and then gave to her husband. “However” the man is to be the protector and vanguard fully of the heart of his wife in God’s order. He is to so cherish her that nothing would ever stand in the way of what God has joined together in their marriage to be severed; between each other and between their relationship with God. He should have stopped Eve right in the moment where she offered him the fruit and brought the two of them before God and restored relationship and there would have been no division to continue in.
In all of humanity that followed Adam, death naturally comes because man naturally separates himself from God’s love and does not even realize it until he realizes that his heart feels empty or seems to be “missing something vital”. In Christ Jesus all are made alive. He is the restorer of this breach. Jesus came and sacrificed His very all to restore that great divide of humanity.
God says that no man can come to Him for the restoration of such love which ends all separation except through coming into relationship with His son Jesus. There love is restored. Without initiating a love relationship with Jesus, we remain naturally devoid of knowing the (ginosko), the most intimate of expression of love; which is the extent to which God loves you and I.
Husband and wife are designed of God to have this be the eternal binder to one another that nothing can sever. When a man and a woman enter into this covenant with each other and God, it is eternal and therefore forever until the flesh enveloped temple of God’s Holy Spirit departs the earth realm. Divorce should never occur and this is why. It is always “the need to be right” and thinking that something has been witheld from us in life that God’s love cannot fulfill; between Him and you or I, or between each other. It is this manner of love that is the binder and sustaining and preserver of loving life relationship. We are destined to live such a life out fully and to experience it in unlimited abundance.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn or judge and find fault with the world, but in order that the world might be saved (restored in love)through him.(Jesus)
Whoever believes in him is not condemned however whosoever does not believe is condemned already, because they condemn themselves by not believing in the name of the only Son of God, which is to refuse the offer of God’s love by thinking something keeps them from being good enough or worthy or thinking there is some thing they have to do first in order to measure up to a standard. There is no standard as there was under the old covenant before Jesus came. Jesus is the standard bearer. He is the way, the truth and the life. There is no other way to have love restored and to thus know what the love that comes from God truly is.
Jesus came, Jesus died, Jesus was risen victorious over all that could or would ever seek to separate us from the love of God. Jesus is! By Him all things are held together (consist).
“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. (John 3:5) That simply put; we are born naturally in water out of our mother’s womb and brought into this world. Then each of us must individually make the choice to be reunited in the bonding of God’s love through His son Jesus into intimate love relationship by His Spirit which closes the great divide that naturally veils the heart from receiving the fullness of God’s love, realized and actualized. You already have all of Jesus and all that He represents inside of you. This cannot however come into the embracing of the fullness of love until You say yes and invite this to come into newness and fullness of full abundance of loving life, by inviting Jesus to be the very center, focus and reason for being. Without Him you can do nothing. Without Him you are left with a huge something missing in your heart and life.
Just say yes to Him if you truly desire to experience your life being full to the brim of love and joy beyond what you can ever imagine.
“But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.” (Acts 20:24)
Have you come to the cross? Have you laid down the burden of life?
Perhaps you need to sit at the foot of the cross for a while until you can say yes.
Then there are those times when need to revisit the foot of the cross, because being in love and in communion with God is not merely visited. It is our identity in which we live and move and have our being.