I love that our God is a God who speaks. The gentle and piercingly clear echoes of truth penetrate my heart in ways that consistently humble me. When God speaks I am encouraged to my core as His words of truth sweetly breathe life into my innermost being. Recently I was seeking the Lord on behalf of a friend of mine and I heard that gentle whisper say something that seriously shocked me. As I poured out my sincere concerns and fears about this friend before the Lord, I heard the Holy Spirit say to me, “Jenna, I don't NEED you to love them.” What? In disbelief, I kindly directed God to my mental Rolodex of Scriptures where He commands me to love others and humbly asked how this could be. Yet, I heard it once again, “I don't NEED you to love them.”
Now thoroughly confounded I asked the Lord to show me what He meant. In my mind's eye He flashed a picture of the most sparkling, beautiful, endless ocean, expanding as far as my eyes could see. God told me to look at the magnificence of the ocean, the sun reflecting upon the water, the roaring waves crashing and yet the stillness in between each set of waves. Trying my best to visually take in all that lay before me, I soon failed. He gently said, “This is like my love.”
The love of God is deeper, wider, longer then we can imagine. It's the kind of thing we can dive into, splash around in and yet never fully comprehend its depths or power. As I looked in wonder at this breathtaking view I began to notice that amongst the fabulously crashing waves were my family, friends, and the people that I love most. The Spirit whispered to my heart once again, “My love is enough for them.”
With sand wriggling between my toes I looked on in wonder and then began to notice I was holding something. Carefully balanced in my hand was a teaspoon filled with water. God spoke to me, “This is like your love.” Taking my eyes off the expansive ocean view I saw this tiny measure of water which now seemed so silly in contrast to the depths of water that crashed so majestically before me. Though my love was sweet and sincere, in comparison to the all-satisfying, never-ending love of God happily dousing my friends and family from head to foot, it seemed unnecessary.
Then God spoke another word that made my spirit stoked. He said, “Jenna, I will LET you love them. As you love others, you will get clearer glimpses of me and my love.” Dropping my teaspoon in abandon I ran into the ocean to join my friends in joy as the waves furiously crashed against me spewing water amongst us all.
As I have let this seemingly peculiar picture and revelation percolate on my heart over the past few weeks, I can see how true it is. God knows that I will never be able to comprehend His kind of love this side of Heaven and so he created relationships. It is the deepest privilege and delight of life to love others. God does not NEED us to love others, He LETS us in it. He desperately wants us to better understand His character and love. His brilliant plan is for those revelations to arise amidst our relationships.
Friends, as you have loved me well, I can honestly say I have gained glimpses of my God...
When you are patient with me and my shortcomings,
you remind me of my God who is utterly patient.
When you demonstrate levels of kindness that make my heart brim with joy,
I am astounded at the kindness of my God.
When you offer me forgiveness,
I encounter afresh God's grace and mercy.
When you walk in humility as my friend,
I understand a sliver more of my Humble King.
When you sacrifice on my behalf,
I am reminded of God's love that led to the ultimate sacrifice of His Son.
When you extend hope,
I am reminded of my God who is the source of all hope.
...I am so grateful for these (and so many more) treasured glimpses of God that you have provided me over the years. 1 John 4:12 says, "No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” I am humbled when I consider the opportunity I have to love you. Through the brilliance of relationships that God has blessed us with, may we continue to make His love complete and more clearly see our God.