"Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13The past few days we've enjoyed a children's play at the beautiful Paramount Theater, strolling the Charlottesville Downtown Outdoor Pedestrian Mall, Saturday yard sale treasure hunting, a lovely Italian dinner evening with my honey, a fitting outing with my "sweet" girls savoring delectable pastries at the Paradox Pastry Company, recreational fun time at the neighborhood park, and a Cracker Barrel dinner compliments of Grandma. I even convinced everyone to a trip back to Suffolk for some much needed paperwork.
Within 20 minutes, everyone was packed in the family van. We found our home in top shape and were warmly greeted by 4 sweet friends. Then we all headed in our own directions to hurriedly accomplish the things we came for in order to pack back in the van and return to Charlottesville before nightfall. Wheeewww!
Now it's the sweet eve before our Jude is to enter into this world so I'm remembering once again the Lord's amazing love. Today I am overwhelmingly thankful for what He has delivered us from and brought us through in recent years and just how he has proved His unconditional love for us. Many days I wondered if ever a sweetness could truly derive from heartache. This past year I have witnessed that it can...oh, it can. It causes me to have a great trust that the Lord is able to do far more exceedingly than what we can imagine. And He does it all by His great love...
I'm certainly far from being a writer, not skilled in grammar or composition but how can I be quieted about His goodness? How can I walk through the valley without proclaiming all He has done for me? How can I hang my head when He has, over and over, rescued and loved me even when I have least deserved it? How could I not love others the way He has called me to? Oh, how thankful I am for His great love!
And now through this present trial, the Lord is allowing us to witness others' love for us...the sweet friends who have busy-ness in their own lives but still plan to be at our bedside as Jude first enters the world, the loving neighbors who are taking care of the details of our home and pets while we're away, the incredible, constant people in our lives that desire to encourage us and uplift us...when grief seems it should be lurking with every step. Those who are fighting with us in prayer by standing on the front lines ready and armed with the weapons of warfare...we thank God for you! All of those who speak truth into our lives...we thank God for YOU!
Last night I skimmed a critical blog post someone wrote. I was struck with grief. I cried out for the Lord to help me to love like He loves and to keep me from that common bitterness that entangles many to revile when we should, instead, uplift, and celebrate the victories of others...rejoicing in God's goodness together.
Just before reading the post, I had come across this beautiful comment quoted by Loretta Angels. "The Pharisees lost the most important aspect of the Law; the intimate aspect of the enormous amount of love God had/has for His chosen people and for those of us who would be grafted into the vine through Christ. That same love was to be spread outward to others so that they would hunger and thirst for Him. There is a balance to all things. Know what the Word says so that you can stand strong when false teachings are introduced."
So now as I complete my pondering of how the Lord has shown His great love for me, I pray that a portion of that love will indwell in me through the days ahead enabling me with the ability to outwardly love others so that they might hunger and thirst for Him as I have. After all, if it weren't for His great love, not one of us would desire to know Him. ~Jen
"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another."