A Perfect Blend

One thing God has spoken, two things have I heard: that You, O God, are strong, and that You, O God, are loving.  — Psalm 62:11-12

God is a perfect blend of strength and love. He is powerful enough to overcome every trial and temptation in my life, and the tool He wields to thwart it all is love.

It is His love that holds me steady and gives me hope to rise above every circumstance before me.

It is His love that arms me with strength for the battle . . . one more time.

It is His love that draws me near, assuring me all is well when by appearances life is anything but.

Choosing to believe in the goodness of Father’s love is what changes me day by day. Trusting His love will always win out over me and my stubbornness. Even when I struggle and pull against His will. Even when I feel inadequate and depleted. Even when I fail utterly. It is the strength of Father’s love which tugs me back to His heart, bridging this gap of separation. Forgiving my sin and covering my flaws with the perfectness of His grace given again.

God’s love is strong, and God’s strength is love.

This is the freedom I walk in as His child. Not a list of dos and don’ts to which I cannot possibly adhere. Not a continual striving to be good enough or deserving enough, nor the constant fear of never being good enough. But an invitation to rest in a grace that convicts without condemnation. A beckoning to bend toward a love that is patient and long-suffering while it waits for me to come to my senses and turn my wayward heart toward righteousness. A bidding to yield to a perfect Father who welcomes me to change my ways and conform to His, while giving me the very strength to do so.

God is the epitome of 1 Corinthians 13 because God is love personified.

God is love that resides in the power of being patient with His children, wooing hearts with kindness instead of demanding in anger.

God remains unflinching in His gentleness, continually forgiving offenses incurred against Him.

He keeps no record of wrongs. (Are you awed by that fact as much as I am?!?)

My Father rejoices when I come to grips with truth, slow learner though I may be.

God’s powerful love never gives up on me. He never loses faith that I will become all He has created me to be.

God remains hopeful about everything concerning me. Period.

Nothing can dim His affection for me.

Nothing can separate me from the mercy of a God who died to lay claims to my life.

This is the freedom in which you and I are invited to live — abundantly and without end — this perfect blend of love and power poured out on our behalf.

Open your ears and hear His word, then grasp the truth of it with all your heart: You, O God, are strong, and You, O God, are loving.

May we rest in the strength of His fierce love today . . . and always.

I’m including a link to Jeremy Riddle’s song Furious. It’s one of my personal favorites, and a wonderful reminder of God’s powerful love. If you need a bit of spiritual CPR, be encouraged. His love is fierce, His love is strong — and it’s waking hearts to life.

May yours be the next in line, my friend. Go ahead, take a deep breath and enjoy the awakening.

© MereWhispers.wordpress.com

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Love is…

Love is patient.

Love suffers long.

Why is that the first definitive entry in the famed “Love Chapter” of Scripture?

Perhaps because, above all, love must be willing to wait on others.

But not just wait as one would while standing in line at the grocery checkout. True, loving patience is willing to suffer as it waits to have its own needs met, even when they seem so very long in coming. If, indeed, they ever do come. Because the reality is, sometimes they don’t. Sometimes our expectations go unmet. Sometimes our needs remain. Sometimes the hurts linger and the trials persist.

It’s with these thoughts that I ponder the many facets of “patience,” a word which, by the way, is slow in coming (no pun intended) to yours truly. As much as I wish it were different, patience is a virtue that has been disinclined to cultivate itself quickly in my life. Much to my dismay, I generally do not bear up under interruptions or delays without annoyance or frustration. Nor do I naturally exude forbearance when trials come my way.

And yet, I can’t help but want to be a person of patience, so today I am setting my mind upon what I believe it means to fulfill this first definition of a perfect love. And perhaps, as I ponder, I will grasp a bit more of God’s love in my life – pulling me toward and anchoring me more firmly in a patient love that waits in the now with the hope of eternity.

Patient love…

Lives the moment of less than as if it were more than, consistently trusting God for the enough.

Exists in this perfectly imperfect moment of life.

Welcomes the wonder in the place where it seems lacking, resolved to find the awe in the awful.

Seeks the Giver in the gift it never chose.

Embraces life beyond the shadow of the cross while firmly seated in the darkness of the ninth hour.

Shows up haggard and lame at the temple gates, begging for release, yet content to listen to the praise songs of others.

Stays put. Lingering and longing, yet still there – prepared for the miracle of release that comes in unexpected ways.

Looks for the hidden, straining to see beyond the veneer of a shiny surface to note the nitty-gritty of an aching heart beneath the facade of an altogether all-together.

Sees the world as soul-weary and lost despite the fluidity of motion that tempts us to believe otherwise.

Embraces the thorns with the flowers and bleeds alongside the beauty of its fragrant bouquet.

Is willing to camp out in the wilderness, determined to endure the stillness of a moment and not wish it away.

Finds the gift hidden in the now and trusts the Giver who extends within and beyond.

Does not begrudge the good fortune of others, but looks to add to it.

Bestows blessings upon those whom it encounters in this very moment of living the moments with gratitude for it all.

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails… (I Corinthians 13:4-8a)

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