While there are standards that help us to be better lovers, the most satisfying love is the kind that leaves us mystified as to how or why we did it. My friend, life’s a story, stayed tuned for more on This Passing Day.
We’ve all had those experiences in life when, in retrospect we look back on an action and reflect “I don’t really know why I did that loving thing, it just happened.” I’ve always been fascinated by the often spontaneous nature of love. In many ways I am reminded of an engine in this regard. You put fuel into it and add a spark and there’s an explosion of energy. At this point it becomes spontaneous. Until you remove the ignition or the fuel it’s not likely to quit running. The best love is really like this. When we’ve experienced the love of God in our lives, we become similar to that engine. God provides the fuel, his Word, as well as the spark, the touch of his Holy Spirit. From that point on love spontaneously pours forth, for neither the Word or the Spirit is ever depleted in the course of a Christian’s lifetime. That’s how we’re able to do those things that we so marvel at: “Why did I do that loving thing? I guess it just seemed like the right thing to do.” Our spiritual engine is running and love is generated even when we’ve hardly given it much thought or design.
It seems that the best love in our lives is the kind that isn’t premeditated. While there are standards that help us to be better lovers, the most satisfying love is the kind that leaves us mystified as to how or why we did it.
Here’s a story. A few years ago, the Harry S. Truman Library in Independence, MO made public 1,300 recently discovered letters that the late President wrote to his wife, Bess, over the course of a half-century. Mr. Truman had a lifelong rule of writing to his wife every day they were apart. He followed this rule whenever he was away on official business or whenever Bess left Washington to visit her beloved Independence. When asked what motivated him to be so generous with his writing his response was vague. “It just was a part of who I am and what I do.” Scholars are examining the letters for any new light they may throw on political and diplomatic history. For our part, we were most impressed by the simple fact that every day he was away, the President of the United States took time out from his dealing with the world's most powerful leaders to sit down and write a letter to his wife. (Bits & Pieces, October 15, 1992, pp. 15-16.)
The Apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” Paul is really relating to his Corinthians readers that the fruits of the Spirit are demonstrated in our love for one another. God places the knowledge of these in our hearts and then he sparks them into action with the gift of his Spirit. At that point it becomes spontaneous for a Christian. You can’t coup that kind of love up as it seeks to spew forth and overwhelm by its very nature and presence. An engine that’s running must exhaust, so too the Spirit of God within a Christian heart. Truman was compelled by his love for Bess to write those loving letters. That compulsion lasted for a lifetime, and not even the Presidency was able to interfere. Truman couldn’t plan it, he could only do it. So too with us. We can’t love God by planning it. Truman’s letters would not have been genuine except they were spontaneous. Truman had nothing to prove with his letters, Bess knew he loved her. We have nothing to prove with our love for God. He isn’t looking for proof; he’s looking for us.
We pray. Thank you Lord for loving us unconditionally and gifting us with the power of that same love by giving us your Word and your Holy Spirit. Forgive us Lord, when we feel that we have to prove that we love you by trying to do or say something that is evidence of our love for you. There is nothing that we can do to prove our love for you as we are sinners and incapable of that kind of love except in Christ. Remaining in Christ, let us love with spontaneity forever. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
Therefore my friend, Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. This Passing Day. (Matt 6:34)
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