I’ve always been someone who has wanted to love and serve people well. Some days that’s easy, some days it’s the hardest thing I can imagine. I have people in my life that are just difficult people to love and choose to pursue, even if they are the ones I know God has called me to do so with.
So what does it look like when it’s not easy to love? What does it look like to pour out your life to the ones He views as worthy?
As we near Easter, we’re given this picture of hope, of truth, and of redemption in the cross of Jesus and the love He poured out for us. But also a picture of pain, of sorrow, and of loss. I talked a little bit this past weekend at an FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) conference that I lead for, on the picture of love that is displayed well throughout the Bible and the peace that it can bring our hearts. I was reading through 1 Corinthians 13, which is one that many people refer to as the love chapter. I’ve read it many times, but have never noticed the caption at the top of chapter that my Bible has listed.
It says love is indispensable. And I’ve realized how much this rings true in my life and how much I see it ring true in other’s lives. The word indispensable means absolutely necessary. And when I think about the love of Christ and the love we should pour out in our lives, I see how consistently this lines up with needing to love others well.
And it makes me realize how worth it all of the things of our life are, the good and the bad. At the conference this past weekend when we were singing “Your love never fails, it never gives up, it never runs out on me”, I saw that truth clearly in a picture of hundreds of middle school and high school students who were looking for something; for love, I realize how worth it all of this is. And as I had a past camper come up to me toward the end of chapel, give me a hug, and pull away with tears in her eyes and tell me she didn’t know where she would be if I hadn’t been her huddle leader a year and a half ago, I realize how worth it all of this is. And when another leader finds out her dad is dying of kidney and liver failure, and we pray peace and contentment over her heart, I realize how worth it all of this is.
The pain, the struggle, and the hurt. But also the joy, the victory, and the peace that comes in loving Christ and being loved by Christ. There is nothing in this world that is worth more, nothing in this world that deserves more praise, and nothing in this world that will ever satisfy compared to the that love.
And I think I see a little bit of that love everywhere I go. In the swaying of the branches of a beautifully perfect fall tree. In the smile of my sweet nephew. In the laugh of a camper that I hold close to my heart. And in the little things of the everyday. And it is absolutely necessary.