This past Sunday was Valentines Day. It's the day that Cupid and all he stands for reigns supreme for most Americans. Those who don't have the emotion based love he sells, often feel "less than" or short changed. Even those in good relationships can't sustain that cupid type love and can feel that something is amiss in their relationship. God's invitation to us, however, is to dethrone that "cupid type" love as master of our hearts and choose instead to receive and abide in His unceasing love.
Regardless of the circumstances of our lives- no matter what we feel, experience, think, do or have done to us- God's love always surrounds us (see Psalms 139, 103 or Romans 8). Like fish swimming in the vast ocean, we are swimming in God's vast love. Our difficulty however, is that we are unaware that we are afloat in a sea of Love. We often have this unconscious belief that if we were truly loved by God, we would have the picture perfect life where nothing bad ever happens. We would be happy and "in love" all the time. The problem with this kind ofthinking is that it doesn't mesh with reality. Life can be hard, sad and disappointing. During Jesus' lifetime He was spit upon, hit, rejected and eventually crucified. Jesus' circumstances and emotions didn't stop Him from believing, trusting and surrendering to God's love . He shows us that it is possible to believe and live in a love that is beyond Cupid's shallow offer. Jesus trusted, even when He couldn't feel it, that His Father's love was rock solid and would somehow bring about "resurrection."
Granted we aren't Jesus (and God doesn't expect us to be), so we won't do it perfectly, but we can make progress believing in, trusting and surrendering to God's love. Following Jesus' example, if we take time just to be with God, without agenda or expectations, we find that our capacity to receive and give His love grows. We come to trust that God is "right here, right now," and not only someone out there, whom we will meet someday. The Spirit within us becomes our source of strength, comfort and joy. In 1 Corinthians 13we see God (who is love) as patient, kind, never failing, not rude, (etc.). Our invitation isfirst to receive/abide in this love and then to let it flow from us to those around us (see also 1John 4:19). When we are not acting in love it is more an "indicator" of not abiding in love, rather than a shame based "indictment" of our behavior. When we aren't loving, the challenge isn't to "muster up more love," but rather to "receive more love" so that it can flow through us. In dethroning Cupid- letting go of the notions that love should be perfect, easy, full of only positive emotions, etc.- we open space in our souls to receive more of God's infinite, unceasing love that can sustain us and then flow out to others.
Reflect this Week:
Who is sitting on the "love" throne in my life?
By Babs May-Clark