Tuesday, March 29, 2011

love + love = new life

"Your love is deep; Your love is wide. Your love has breathed in me new life." (Forever - from the Oaks Worship album Lift Up the Light)

Have you ever noticed the change in people when they find love?

It's like their lives completely change. The way they use their time, the things they think about, the way they just ooze happiness?

It's evident in newlyweds as they begin a marriage. Two people who chose to love one another begin a new life.

And for most (not all, but most), the next thing in life is a baby. And I'm not about to get into how that happens, but it's obvious that, again, two people who love each other bring new life into the world.

It's evident that where there is love, new life abounds. Change is inevitable. Some of that is fun, some is easy, some is painful, some is difficult. But love + love = new life.

I'm thinking about how this equation works with Jesus.

Jesus loves me, this I know. But I forget that a lot. It's a Truth that's hidden somewhere so deep down that at times it creeps to the surface, and other times I have to dig down past all the junk I've put in the way to reach it. I know His love has never gone anywhere, but I've smothered it, covered it with other things, people, ideas, ministries, TV shows, opinions, songs, etc. In a sense I've been saying "Jesus, your love isn't enough. I need more or something else."I know in my head that He is enough, but I don't let that knowledge trickle down into my heart as often as I should.

But what happens when we choose to love Him back?
Every single time?
New life.

He never fails.
His love never fails.

If we've forgotten it, He still loves us.
If we've walked away, He still loves us.
If we've covered it up with other things, He still loves us.

All the while, He's reaching out His hand to us, waiting for us to reach back.
And even more than a new couple gets tingles and butterflies the first time they hold hands, those feelings of joy overflow when we reach back for Jesus' hand.

"Oh, the joy that floods my soul when I'm with you Lord..." (Take Me In - from the Oaks Worship album again)

That is the deepest form of new life that could ever possibly exist.

When we see a new believer accept Jesus for the first time & become baptized, it's like seeing those two hands meet. A new life begins.

And even when those who already believe, those who are "old" in their faith, those who have forgotten or covered up His love with other temporary loves, simply remember & love Him in return, how beautiful that new life is that springs up once again.

As spring approaches I love that new life is around me everywhere. Flowers are beginning to bloom, the magnolia trees are taking my breath away again, and the sidewalks are coming alive with people walking or running. Winter is making its closing remarks, and Spring is bursting forth.

In the same way, every spring there's a little bit of winter in my soul that has to part ways (and I'm thankful for that), and there is ground that needs to be tilled for new life to spring up.

The reminder of His love for me tonight came through a song I was listening to, and that's all it took for me to remember. Of course, His Word is there as a constant reminder, but tonight it came in a song. I'll be hard at work, tilling the ground that needs prepared, but all the while He is creating new life.

Thank you Jesus, for this new life you so constantly offer us through your unending love, and thank you for letting us love you back even when we're inconsistent.