Over the last week, I discovered something. I found insight into God Love. Did you know God’s love is wonderful, awe-inspiring, and… tough?
1 John 3:18 consists of one sentence and opened my understanding of God’s yearning for us.
My little children, may we not love in word nor in tongue, but in word and in truth! [Young’s Literal Translation]
How cool is this? Love and truth go together, like peanut butter and jelly. Like God and you. But most of the time the truth is tough to handle. How is truth and love connected? The parents out there may have an idea. Just think about a hot stove and curious little hands.
Since things fell apart, I feel like I walked through a desert. My soul was parched when I found His guidance. I wish I could explain what is going on. But it would hurt the people involved. What happened is something that families have dealt with for centuries. We are not alone in this battle. This pain is not just my family’s pain.
When things fell apart at home this past July, depression slowly descended over me. My usual remedies for sadness did not work. I needed to do something different.
I needed to reconnect with God. Through all the drama, tears, and letting go, I lost track of my simple routines, readings, and study. I needed God closer to me. He was there, supporting me and providing resources. But, He felt far away. “What’s missing?” I asked myself. Prayer was the gentle thought. Not the desperate prayers of “What do I do now, God save my family,” or “Help!” Even my frantic rosaries were not getting me any closer to Him.
I was missing the conversation. Where were the praises for His graces, the details of my day, my requests for help, and gratitude for the guidance and resources He provided? Can you say “crickets?” The next question was, “how do I handle this?”
First, I asked God for forgiveness. I had neglected my friendship with God (repentance). After we cleared the air, I could reconnect with my Lord on a personal level (reconciliation). What happened next? Reinforcements showed up! First my Big brother Jesus Christ came through with the oil of forgiveness. Then, with my Guidance Counselor, the Holy Spirit showed up bringing healing. The family’s Prayer Warriors fought, and continue to fight, the spiritual battle behind the scenes. And God continues to handle the details.
Lost in the desert of tasks and duties, I began to fast and pray. This released my prayer warrior to join the battle. I asked my warriors for prayers and scriptures. The ladies delivered! I am now praying with gratitude, praise, and confidence in my Father. The scripture sent to me is where I found this little verse. It is tucked into a letter from the Apostle John instructing early Christians how to love one another.
The scripture instructs us that our love must be “in word and in truth.” That is God. He gives us His words, but that’s not all! He loves us enough to give us the truth with His Love.
Sometimes love is warm and fuzzy, just the way we like it. Because of my situation, my love has to be facts (words) and decisions based on truth. This is the love my family needs right now. Some call it tough love. Yes, it is tough. But, It is also the love that helps us grow.
God’s words comfort us, like John 3:16; for God so loved the world that he gave… Other times it is tough. He doesn’t lie to us. His words speak the truth and consequences of our actions. Reading Proverbs last month showed me what I and our country are doing wrong. The Proverbs spell out the consequences of our actions. It was not a fun read.
Let’s take “pride.” Let me grab the Proverb that haunted me:
17 The path of the upright leads away from misfortune;
those who attend to their way guard their lives.
18 Pride goes before disaster,
and a haughty spirit before a fall.
19 It is better to be humble with the poor
Then to share plunder with the proud.
[Proverbs 16:17-19 New American Bible Revised Edition]
That is a tough Proverb to swallow. The world tells us, “Be proud of yourself” or “never admit you are wrong.” God is clear here. Following God’s path will preserve your soul, but our pride leads us to make bad decisions. “I can handle it!” was one that always got me into trouble! When we act like we are better than someone else or don’t need God’s guidance (help), God promises we will stumble.
In Proverbs, God gets straight to the point. We read examples of our actions and why it doesn’t work out so well. Simply put, His Words come with His Truth. Why would He find it important to put this in His Holy Scriptures? Because He loves you. Like a loving dad, He wants the best for you.
Here is the great thing about our Tough Father; he has also given us a path back into His good graces. Repent and turn away from our sins and then reconnect with Our Father. His love is word and truth! In Jesus’ name, thank you, Father! Praise and Glory to you! Amen.
Dear Heavenly Father, whatever obstacles, hurts, and battles this reader’s faces draw then closer to You and supply the truth this person needs. In Jesus’ name, Amen. In the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit Amen.
Peace, my friends,
P.S: Yes, I knocked my glasses to the floor! I do talk with my hands. It is good the lenses are made of plastic. 😀