I read a quote today about God's love being strong and in one moment the phrase struck me as both beautiful and sorely lacking.
It is beautiful because the Lord is my strength and His strength is unbound and limitless. He is my protector who upholds me, His love washes away all my tears, it sustains me and keeps me going. Yet it is lacking because 'strong' does not begin to encompass the kind of love my Savior has for me! What kind of love would willingly give Himself for me? What kind of love would go to the grave and back? It is this kind of love that my Savior has for me: an undying, self-sacrificing, endlessly giving, fiercely protective kind of love. How paltry, in comparison, is love as described by this world? And how little is my own love given back to Him!
To love like Jesus is to love without reserve, to love without hesitation, to love through the cost. To love like Christ is a costly kind of love because it requires all of me, not just a part of me when it is convenient. It requires everything even when it is the most difficult - for that is how Christ loves. Yes, His love is strong. But it is so much more than 'strong.' It is passionate, deep, unending, unyielding, and eternal. It overcomes the strongest hatred, the bitterest grudge, and the deepest doubt experienced by the human soul.
The other day, my fiance and I were sitting together in a public place talking (read: smiling and staring deeply into each other's eyes) when a stranger walked by. This stranger passed by once, then twice, then said something I didn't catch. When she walked by again, I mentally cued in to what she was saying. It was this: "Gurl, he looooves you!" She then sat down a ways from us and started singing a few strains of 'Kiss the Girl' from Little Mermaid. Thankfully her serenade only lasted a few bars, then she wandered off. My fiance and I giggled, amused by her antics, and continued our conversation (i.e. staring into each other's eyes).
Later, as I recounted the event, it struck me how a total stranger took a few looks at us and recognized the obvious - we love each other. That, of course, made me think of another application. Would a complete stranger be able to take a couple looks at me and see how much I love Jesus? Would they be able to take a thirty second glimpse at my life and draw the obvious conclusion that I am deeply in love with my Savior and serve Him with my whole heart and being? Would they want to sit back and watch me interact with others out of love for the Lord and sing about what they see? I would like to think so. Maybe the next time I get serenaded by a stranger, they'll start singing about Jesus.
A few days ago, my fiance gave me this beautiful orchid. I was struck by its intense blue color and wonderered how a normally delicate flower was made to look so vibrant. While reading the tag, I had a definite 'ah-ha' moment.
These orchids are infused with a special coloring that makes them look like this the first time they bloom. The tag went on to say that while they bloomed, each bloom would progressively change from deep blue to pure white. This beautiful flowering plant instantly became that much more precious to me.
This orchid gives me hope because in this orchid I see a picture of myself. I am "colored" by sin, its effects are present in me every day and visible for all to see. But I am also transformed every day, renewed, and made a little more like Christ as each moment goes by. Each day as I watch my orchid transform from deep blue to pure white, I am reminded that I am becoming more like my Creator. I will not always be marred by sin. I will not always see its dark stain. One day I will walk in complete holiness before my Lord. One day He who has begun a good work in me will complete it. And like my orchid, one day, sin's deep hue will be removed and only the purest of white will be left behind!