Love

Where is love in your life? How do you get the love you need? These are questions I had to ask myself as I read Ann Voskamp’s book The Broken Way.

The love we receive from the Lord and the reality of how He demonstrated His love is all wrapped up in two words: unconditional and sacrificial. It has been said that our hearts have a God-sized hole within and that until we come to know Him we search a million places to find something to fill the emptiness inside.

I guess that is why it made so much sense to me when I read this in The Broken Way, “…everyone is always asking only for one thing- will you love me?” I thought, “yes, that’s true.” I know in my own mind and heart that it is what I desire. I also know that I keep my need for love mostly hidden. It is not something that I easily want to admit to or am vulnerable to share. I believe that this is true of most people, I think that we often try to hide our neediness.

People want love, acceptance, and belonging. We search for these throughout life. We desperately want the emptiness within filled. And we try to fill it with so many things. We grasp at the air.

So, where can we get our love-tanks filled?  The surest way is in coming to the King of Kings to be filled. He is available, generous, and gracious. He demonstrated His amazing love in sacrificing Jesus, His only Son, on the cross for us. He loves us that much. “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were yet sinners Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

When we come to know that nothing else can satisfy, nothing else can fill that void, when we finally come to the realization of our need for God, we must cry out in the desperation of a beggar. He is the one Who is able to fill our hearts.

Once we have the joy of knowing Jesus and His sacrificial love, we find our own hearts filling with love as we feel His presence in our lives, as we learn to know His comfort, His peace, His hope, and His faithfulness.

But we also can lose sight of this. Unless we keep feeding on His Word and receive His nurturing in our relationship with Him, we can grow hungry and needy again. And, I believe until we reach heaven we will always feel a certain emptiness.

Recognizing my own desire to be loved, being made aware of this again through reading Ann’s book, helped me to think in a new way about others. It made me to see people as needy, needy for love. And it doesn’t matter who they are, what financial tax bracket they are in, what they look like, we all struggle with emptiness. We all need love. People especially need love from us as believers. As believers we can be filled moment-by-moment in our relationship with the Lord.

People need the love that says, I see your sad eyes, I see your homelessness, I hear your hopeless words; all of these are a cry for different ways to be loved. Maybe a word of encouragement, maybe an invitation to conversation or lunch, maybe an offer of prayer.

Ann says the following about love:

“…it is always sacrifice for someone” (p. 104) and it is “the willingness to be interrupted … the willingness to be broken into” (p. 177).

Love, a sacrifice, a being broken into, a being interrupted. Love takes time and effort, giving and responding and willingness to risk being hurt.

God sacrificed, God gives love and He wants to live through us, we are the conduit of His love to others.

Next time you are feeling lonely or empty, reach out with love to another, it will change the way you feel. It is too easy to throw a pity party in wallowing in our own loneliness, when all we have to do is reach out. Next time you feel resentful or frustrated, remember Jesus sacrifice on the cross. Let His love fill your heart and readjust your attitude so you might respond with love. Everyone is looking to be loved. Maybe it is your child, your aging parent, your neighbor, your bossy co-worker, maybe it’s the tired clerk at the store, or the pregnant waitress or the overworked tax accountant. They all want love. Thinking about this changes everything. Most of all hopefully it changes the way we live our lives.

How will you let love change you? How will knowing people’s need for love change the way you live and respond?

Take time to consider these questions. It may mean a softer answer, a helping hand, a bigger tip, a listening ear, or maybe just going out of your way sacrificing your time for another. Whatever it is, give love, show love, and live love. It really can change everything, but most of all it can change our very own hearts.

 

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4 thoughts on “Love

  1. Ann Voskamp just gets it. I love your words here: “And, I believe until we reach heaven we will always feel a certain emptiness.” C.S. Lewis wrote about that in Surprised by Joy. It is a longing for another world. Thanks for sharing this on the #sundaythoughts link up.

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    1. Hi, I have not read Surprised by Joy, I will have to get that. Thanks for sharing! Our hearts are in a constant state of longing for home. We were not created to be separated from our Creator, and sin so often hurts our relationship with Him. I am so glad that we have this hope of heaven because of Jesus. Ann Voskamp writes deep and rich, as she grows in the Lord, she shares how He makes Himself real to her. It is a beautiful thing. I am glad you stopped by. May your soul be refreshed in knowing that He is always our satisfaction even in the midst of the emptiness we feel here on earth. We have to keep that eternal perspective and remember this is all temporary. Thank you Jesus!

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  2. Such a great reminder on Love. I’ve not read Ann Voskamp and the books you reference sound like something I would like to read. I see my local library has her books so I’ll have to check out her work. Thanks for sharing. I am often reminded of the scripture of Love One Another and how smart our creator is with those words. Love covers all, and if we could just do that how much more simple life would be. I’ve always never been a huggy person and like others sometimes do not feel Love even when it is expressed or shown. I’m learning though with God’s help. Thanks so much for sharing your words and blog so that I could come visit. 🙂

    Peabea@Peabea Scribbles

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    1. Hi, I am so glad that you stopped by. Yes, the Lord’s wisdom is amazing in how He teaches us and grows us. He helps us to learn to love and to know the beauty of His love. He wants His love to flow through us to touch others. May your soul be refeshed as you grow in knowing more of His love and in sharing it too. Sweet Blessings to you.

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