By: Judah Thomason
What is love? Why is love so important? What kind of love do we want?
First and foremost, love is the innermost part of us. It’s our deepest longing and most beautiful desire. God has given us as humans and as His children the absolutely wonderful ability to love. What a tremendous gift!
However, I find myself searching for love. Although I know I already have it and that God has his arms wide open to me, I search for love where I can’t find it. I search for love in the places of darkness where I think I want an object replacing Jesus. As the saying goes, “putting something else in the Jesus-sized hole” of our hearts. Sometimes I am absolutely sure that those distractions and idols are best for me. But that is only because sin and the devil do a really good job of masking those distractions to look like things I need. My sin is what actually turns my heart away from the life-giving water of Jesus Christ.
When listening to Christian speaker Christa Smith, she talked about how our lives are a bus. We have to take care of the bus and only let certain things occupy the seats. She says, “We’ve been allowing things to ride around and take a seat. But, ladies, you only have so many seats on your bus. So, what you want in your seats are joy, peace, hope, authority, the fruits of the Spirit. And anything that contradicts God’s promise or blessings over your life- you have the authority every single day to say, ‘get off my bus’.”
What Christa says very powerful. The love of Christ is always right there and we want to be able to see it, so we must remove the things that are blocking us from the view and outstretched hands of Jesus Christ.
Luckily, we are entering into a time of Lent where we have the privilege to have many women and Catholics all over the world supporting us in our endeavors. So, now is the time. We must acknowledge those things on our bus and receive the Lord’s grace. No better time than the present to pursue that Life-Giving Love! There is nothing greater than His love.
Yesterday when I was listening to my pastor give a homily at Mass, he mentioned that God’s love is SUFFICIENT for us. He said that Lent should be a love affair- a deep love affair that changes our hearts and leaves us never the same again! It is a time to rediscover the truths we already knew but had put on the back burner. Like the truth of the REAL and deep power of love, not the half-hearted or weak love that is not sufficient for us. It’s not the love of society, celebrities, magazines, social media… not the “love” of the world.
Sadly, we most often invest in that search for love in the world’s standards and in the world’s ideas. Crazily enough, the world has many definitions for love. The world believes that love is “finding your happiness,” “doing what makes you happy,” “helping others feel loved.” Maybe we have even heard, “feeling beautiful,” or “feeling” this way or that determines if you are loved. The incredible thing is, if any one of us were to fully know the power of the life-giving and mind-blowing love of Christ for just a second, we would be blown to smithereens. Why? Firstly, we only know a little of the Lord’s love because we don’t accept it. Secondly, because his love is too great and too powerful for us to comprehend.
If that isn’t exciting, I’m not sure what is! Now, how do we move forward? How can we keep this love on our hearts and minds, so as to never be distracted? Well, it’s clearly not possible or even close to possible without the Lord. Mother Teresa, a phenomenal example of love, puts it beautifully:
“We have a great deal of worth in the eyes of God. I never tire of saying over and over again that God loves us. It is a wonderful thing that God Himself loves me tenderly. That is why we should have courage, joy, and the conviction that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ.”
Mother Teresa, in all her service and in all her work, knew that the Lord loved her tenderly. Maybe you can’t help the sick and dying today, but I figure, if she can see Him in that pain, and can believe in His love, you and I can too. His love is sufficient, adequate, more than enough, and everything we need! It’s hard to imagine, but, there is no greater love. Love itself (God) is doing what He does best and will never fail. He is loving us!
In closing, I invoke you to search for this love wholeheartedly and where you know you can find it. Don’t waste your time on the world’s lies.
I find much peace in this verse and I have decided that when I feel alone, or forgotten, or I can’t “feel” the Lord’s love at that moment, this will be my prayer. I invite you to say it with me.
“Why should I fear? For I am being pursued only by your goodness and unfailing love.” Psalm 23:6