As many on you know, I have the privilege of spending most of this week in Seattle, Washington as a presenter at the 2016 National Collegiate Honors Conference. At over 2,000 miles away, this is the farthest I’ve ever been from home, and thus, the longest I’ve ever spent on a plane. It was at times a pretty grueling plane ride; there’s not much to see over the Midwest, and 4 and a half hours is a long time to sit in one spot.
But a break in that monotony came when we flew over the Rocky Mountains. My friend, Cheyenne, next to me got my attention and told me to look out the window. Honestly, my breath caught in my throat. The aerial view of the Rockies and what I assume was Mt. Rainier left me in awe and nearly reduced me to tears. Majestic, rugged peaks thrust into the sky to point us toward the Heavens, capped in snow to decorate the ancient rock.
In that moment, I felt God’s love for me profoundly. The God of the Universe sculpted these mountains before I was even a thought, so that I, and all his beloveds, may one day be captivated by their beauty. I felt Him whisper to me, “Because I love you.”
How much of what God has said, done, and thought, has been because of His love for us? All of it. He allowed himself to be broken and poured out. He used some of his last, ragged breaths to beg the father for our forgiveness. Time after time of us writing our own damnation, He steps in because by his very nature he cannot just let us fall. From Creation, to Armagheddon, his love is made awesomely evident.
If we truly grasp the way we are loved, it ought to radically change our lives. As much as we can be, we ought to be the walking personification of that love. It should overflow from us. Because he has loved us so radically, we must radically love others, even when it is difficult. How difficult must it have been to call down forgiveness for the people who wrote a warrant for your death? To willing lay down your life in the first place? Jesus himself conquered that difficulty with his grace, thus comes our power to love when it is difficult.
I add this onto my reflection of God’s love because to me, it is the logical next step. We can feel warm and fuzzy about the way we are loved all day, but until it fundamentally changes our lives, it is all in vain. Faith without works is dead. Works without faith is dead. Replace the word faith with love, and the truth of the statement remains.
Go forth and love, because you are loved beyond measure.
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