Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The pure love of God

I love getting Christmas cards and letters from friends and family.  I love the photos of the children of friends becoming adults, and grandchildren coming.  But one Christmas card this season brought me to tears. Dear friends from graduate school days sent a letter for the first time in a few years.  Those intervening years have brought cancer battles, loss of a beloved son, and many changes. I grieved for them with tears, and I rejoiced for them with tears.

The rejoicing was that as the mom battled cancer, and as they watched their son battle and lose his fight with cancer, they have seen God to be faithful.  What can sometimes break a family apart, instead is drawing them together.  What has crushed their spirits, is now renewing them day by day.  My friend said to me,

I once saw a quote, "Love of God is pure when joy and suffering inspire equal degree of gratitude." I try to keep this in my heart but sometimes it is very difficult."
That "difficult" is an understatement-- nigh on impossible in the midst of circumstances like they have faced.  But not only is the purity of our love for God shown as we rejoice in the midst of our trials as well as our joys; God's amazing and pure love for us is seen in the same way.  It is the purity of His love for us that sent His Son to be born and die for us. It is the purity of His love that sends us His Spirit to be our rest, our comfort, our clarity amidst the chaos suffering brings.  How blessed we are to follow Him.

 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.  And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
~1 Cor. 13: 12-13


ikceb said...

Thank you, Dear Friend. I needed to hear this today. Think of you and pray for you often.

jenion.com said...

The verse from 1st Corinthians has been so much in my mind and heart lately, I have found myself repeating it - I even spent time looking up various interpretations of its meaning. Then to read it in your post today - perfect. I cannot wait to see you on Christmas!