What do I do if those closest seem most difficult to love?

DSC_0753Why does loving those closest to us feel the most challenging at times? We want loving the roommate, the parent or spouse to be the easiest, right? Does it feel like a challenge for you today? It feels frustrating to me when the people I should love the best, I demonstrate a watered down form of love. I want something pouring from me that is a little more stout, a little more potent, a little more…. loving. Here I go again, returning to this- to deepen my love. I thought the well was deep enough, yet discover it needs to be dug a little deeper. Repeatedly, I am prodded, tested, and gently asked by the originator, giver and keeper of love to do what at times seems impossible– to simply love. How can something so simple and summed up in so few letters be such an insurmountable task?

An insurmountable task with an inexhaustible resource

I didn’t expect an answer. I simply asked, “How Lord?” What I heard, gently,

“Love, as I have loved.”

 “How have You loved me, Lord?”  I thought about the most basic things about God. I easily knew of His characteristic love towards me. I thought about how Jesus’ love was demonstrated. There is no doubt, He was set apart from all others in the way He loved.

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Like the faithful rings in an old tree, cut down– faithful is His love towards me.

The tangles in the mess

Yet, I want an answer I haven’t heard before. “Yeah, yeah, love like God.” I want solutions and formulas, and to be told what to do. There are reasons for the defenses going up, boundaries being set, and excuses made. All sorts of tangles need to be worked out first, right? What about–

  • real hurts and pains?
  • annoying, difficult or needy people?
  • having an up-close and personal view?- “I know what they are really like.”

Yet, I still hear,

 “Love, as I have loved.”

His love, our resource– an inexhaustible resource.

Completely

Sacrificially 

Willingly

Faithfully

Love in this way.

IMG_1076My children above are so small against the back drop of the vast mountain range. Love seems like a tiny thing for great problems. God is great, yet He loved someone small like me. How have you been loved? Love like this. Think about it…  an insurmountable task with an inexhaustible resource: Love as I have been loved.

My options: I can keep my distance and gain some space, but lose much more. It is a choice.

  • Acceptance. Remain right where God has me. Allow my roots to grow deeply right where He has me– trying not to run ahead, or control the situation. Choose acceptance.
  • Prayer. Pray, pray, pray. Pray for blessing for this person.
  • Observing. Seeing and confessing my grumblings as sin.
  • Willingness. Willingness to submit to God.

Loving as I have been loved–

completely, sacrificially, willingly, faithfully.

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“because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans 5:5

It is an insurmountable task, but He has given us an inexhaustible resource– the love of God poured out into our hearts.DSC_0753

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