Saturday, February 14, 2009

Lavish Love

God's Love

Love comes from God… 1 John 4:7

Valentine’s Day is here…a day to celebrate love. We exchange red hearts filled with chocolates, the beauty and aroma of roses fill many a home, and cards express our heartfelt sentiments on this special day.

It was fitting then, that at this week’s Moms In Touch group, our focus was L-O-V-E. Not just any love, but God’s love. His love “endures forever” (Psalm 136); His love nourishes us like branches on a life-giving vine and prunes us so we’re fruitful (John 15: 2, 5); His love allows us to ask whatever we wish and it will be given, as long as we remain in Him (John 15: 7). God tells us greater love has no man than this, that He lay down His life for His friend. And that’s what God did for us through Jesus (John 15: 13). Because of God we are rooted and established in love and He wants us to know how wide and long, high and deep is His love, even though it surpasses knowledge (Ephesians 3:18, 19). Nothing can separate us from God’s love (Romans 8:39).

God lavishes His great love on us. (1 John 3:1)

My father has some very serious health issues and has been suffering with a great deal of pain for a very long time. No longer could he walk his beloved dog, enjoy an evening out, or even sleep through the night. Despite Dad’s positive disposition and his uncanny ability to make the most of life’s hard knocks, he was in agony and had gotten past the point of hiding it. And so, he made the decision, against his cardiologist’s recommendation, to have risky vascular surgery that gave him the hope of once again walking, pain-free. 

There was also the chance the surgery would kill him. Dad didn’t hesitate, “I can’t live with the pain anymore.”

Naturally, we, Dad’s children, were deeply concerned. We knew Dad, who is completely of sound mind, had made his decision. And we also knew, after watching dad’s suffering increase almost daily, that he was losing his quality of life. So we accepted dad’s decision, with great sadness at the possibility of losing him.

I was amazed at the love that surrounded us through this very trying week. It began in the waiting room as we sat watching the clock for six hours, while dad underwent the surgery. Calls, e-mails, text messages filled with prayer and good wishes flowed. Then, we got the good news. The surgery was a success! Again, another flurry of communications came in from all over the globe, thanking God for this good report.

The next few days, however, Dad’s health was unstable. He suffered a mild heart attack and became terribly confused. He was hallucinating, having extensive conversations with people who were not there. It was very scary!

Praise God, today, Dad is in the process of recovery. His thoughts are clear and his heart has stabilized. His vital organs are healing.

Through this ordeal, God has lavished His love on us through the deep and abiding love of family and friends. He has reached out and touched us through words of encouragement and prayers for healing. We were covered in His love through the care and concern of others. We were lifted up out of the depths of our circumstances through the prayers of so many. God has poured out His sustaining love through the love of friends and family through these trying times. Yet, I marvel that this is a glimpse, just a glimmer of God’s love for us!!! The fullness of God’s love is indeed beyond all knowing…

I am so thankful for the family and friends God has brought me to demonstrate His love. Through the most difficult of times, I have felt God’s presence through words, flowers, meals, prayers, calls, and cards, truly expressions of love that were more than I could have asked for or imagined.

How about you? When have you felt God’s love powerfully demonstrated through family and friends? I’d love to hear about it!

6 comments:

  1. It's difficult for me to talk about God's love. But you brought it down to earth with a great connection to our human kind of love through the Valentine's Day connection and the coincidence (or is it?) of your dad's need for love from the Father. This Blog seemed like a prayer itself. All my love, Chris

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  2. This is perfect! Not only did this give me an update on grandpa but a lesson in love as well! I would say that when I broke my ankle it was amazing how much love, support, and prayer I got from friends and especially family! In fact I will never forget the lovely bag of treats and surprises you and Catie brought me, you made me feel special and loved when I was feeling down and frustrated. So thanks, and I LOVE you.

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  3. I miss you, Elise!

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  4. My earthly Father recently went home to be with the Lord. Some of the same people who were lifting up your Dad were praying for my family, (as was I for you). My family was prayed for for months. I have no idea what this whole ordeal would have been without those prayers. And I am greatful for that. My family is coping well. I believe my family has been and is still being held by the Lord until we can walk by ourselves. I have no idea what my life would be like without prayer and the Love of our Great God and I pray I never will!!!

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  5. Valentine's Day was so busy that my husband and I laughed that we forgot to buy each other cards. We were too busy doing things that showed each other how much we loved each other and our family. We took care of my husband's father's properties and went to visit him (he is in the final stages of cancer). Just seeing the pleasure on his dad's face while we were visiting filled our hearts with God's love and spilled over for us. Knowing that we are doing the best we can for those we love, and that God is there while we struggle to do His work as best we can is celebration enough. In all this, we forgot the little gifts we usually give our children on Valentine's Day to let them feel our love. On Wednesday night, I left a box of chocolates on each of their plates on the dinner table and gave them each a hug...just a little reminder that they are loved not just on Valentine's Day but every day

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  6. mom, i like it a lot. i too, have been experiencing god's love, but in a very different way. i never expected this to happen but i feel as though i am falling in love with god. and boy, is love a scary thing. for me, it has meant many a sacrifice. it has meant placing all of my trust in god and surrendering parts of my self; the parts of myself that have given me reason to find fulfillment in things other than god. God has spoken to me in these past few weeks. one verse that comes to mind is Luke 14:25, in which Jesus is speaking to a crowd and he says, "You can not come to me unless you love me more than you love your own life." AHH what a scary thought. but we are all called to love.

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