Once again, I am wrestling and grappling with understanding the deep love of the Creator for me. I guess before I can really begin to tackle God's love for me personally and the vastness of it (which frankly overwhelms me), I want to better understand it through the examples He left here. I talked in my last post about the blood bond in the body of Christ. This time, I want to talk about the love bond.
Have you ever pictured the body of Christ as this intricate, interwoven tapestry....maybe like Joseph's coat of many colors? Each thread serves a purpose. Each one is made a specific color with a specific weaving, a specific origin. It has to be fashioned out of something. Silk thread comes from a worm...what humble beginnings. But to get back on point...I was asked the question in a devotional I am going through on the Psalmist David that I will pose to you...
In thinking about your closest friendships, what would you say beyond preference or circumstance has drawn you together?
For me, the answer was simple: the Lord.
OK...so that begs the question: why is the Lord such an integral part of these friendships? How is it that a relationship with the Lord alone can push past preference, personality, different backgrounds, opinions, denominations, politics...all the things that divide us, to make us the best of friends?
This was a simple yet very profound question for me as I looked at my friendships and really began to evaluate the common thread that united us. It was easiest for me to look back at my friends from last summer and a couple other close relationships in my life, namely with my cousins and a couple friends I grew up with to see that the answer really boiled down to LOVE. Not an obligation to love them, but CHOOSING wholeheartedly to love them.
So what does this mean....well I looked at a few things in scripture that God calls believers to look like and act like:
-We are to be like-minded, having the same love, of one accord, one mind (Philippians 2:2)
-one in heart and soul (Acts 4:32)
-love neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:31)
-a friend loves at ALL times (Proverbs 17:17)
-love as own soul (1 Samuel 20:17)
That last one about loving one another as our own soul was something that Jonathan had for David. Notice that this commitment did not come as a result of any promises from David to love him back but came in spite of no promise to love him back. He loved David and cared about him as he loved the very core and eternal part of himself.
The Lord truly intended His body to become One in every aspect that would last. The Lord charges us to "Love the Lord your God with all your HEART, with all your SOUL, and with all your MIND." Notice the three amigos? We are to be like-minded, one in heart and soul! The same way we are to love Christ, we are to love one another and demonstrate that. Do you know how incredibly freeing that is? Do you realize this blessing?
It means distance and time are inconsequential...
We can be up front, blunt, and honest without fear of rejection...
We can be vulnerable, sharing our hearts because these people are safe....
You may be thinking, "Well I have been hurt worse by Christians than by those who aren't believers. These things can't and aren't true or realistic!" WRONG! This is what the Body is called to...and I am coming to you from a place where I can say that I have been hurt worse by my Christian friends than my non-Christian friends. But I also come to you from a point in my life where God is healing the hurt caused by those broken relationships, and where He has given me beautiful friends, though many are distant, as replacements. If Satan can attack relationships within the Body, He can minimize our understanding and even make us bitter towards the design and relationship God desires to demonstrate through His people. I am so thankful that love wins out in the end!
Do you see the heart of our God for us? He gave us the Body to show how much He loves us and how much we are to love Him. Yet it is just a taste of how huge His love actually is. Oh that we may understand it better and be secure and confidant in it. I pray that God shows you His love through the Body and I pray that you grow to see how important those relationships are. And I pray desperately that you know the deep, deep love He has for you. If you are all alone and do not believe in the God I speak of, know that He already loves you simply because He made you, and that He created you to have an intimate love relationship with Him. You don't have to be lonely anymore. The body is an interwoven tapestry full of people of every size, shape, color, personality, and preference and yet we complete a masterpiece woven by the Master Designer that showcases His great love for us.
Thankful and treasured,