Tuesday, October 13, 2015

heroic love

I look at my four growing children and marvel. Strong and able hands have replaced the soft, grasping fingers of their baby days. Legs that wobbled along now stride confidently through the world. They need me for less and less as the days tick off the calendar.

I know that's how it ought to be. This magical process of growing up is everything we all want and expect, but a mother marvels regardless.

Their bodies don't seem to need much encouragement to mature. It is a force of nature. But what of their courage and their character? What of their ability to love what is good and hate what is evil- even in their own hearts? Well, that takes time and a great deal of attention.

Since they were tiny, Morgan and I have fed them fairy tales: dragons, queens, knights, kings, princesses, elves, magic rings, and noble heroes who stop evil lords have been a staple in our home. Love and loyalty, sacrifice and nobility, friendship and humility, these are the food of the soul.

But the greatest of these is love. Love is the source of security and greatness and power to overcome the darkness. It chases away fear and it lights the way home. Love is a refuge and a shield. Love saves our souls and it saves the day.

And so we tell them a million times a day, "I love you."

Then we tell them, "But there is a God who loves you even more than Mommy and Daddy do."

We know the day is coming that they will need the love of God more than the love of their parents. Our love can comfort our children, but His love can unleash Light within their souls.

Love will lead them to a moment that their belief in Love will falter. A day will come when they will have to believe they are loved even when their circumstances don't feel loving. That moment will be like sugar crystallizing into the sweetest rock their soul will ever know.

It will be their turn to slay the dragon, to undo the evil spell, and to lift up the shield even though it is awkward and heavy for their young arms. They will live the love all the stories taught them to long for in their souls.

Maybe you are in that kind of moment. Maybe Love has led you to this day, this post, and these words.

And so God has reached His hand out from heaven, and is writing your name on today. This is the day The Lord has made for you.

Let's talk about the very beginning, before anyone stood in this world, before any brave story had been told. In the beginning, God spoke and He made all things. He formed people in His image from the dust.

And then He breathed life into them.

We are God's very breath.

Have you ever tried to hold your breath for very long? Have you ever had a person stifle your breath with their hand, or keep your head under the pool water in a rowdy game of chicken?

The desperation in your smothered body rises and grows. All you want is to be able to open your mouth and pull air back into your lungs and breathe again.

That is what happened to God; sin stole His breath.

God has always been determined to get His breath back. That is the definition of love- not a feeling, not an emotion, but an undying commitment to never be separated from that which is valuable and precious to you.

None of us have really been loved like that by fallen people. Nor have we been able to love like that, not every day, without failing.

But God has loved you like that since before you breathed your first breath.

When you stumbled through darkness, God was loving you- His breath- like that. He pointed your path over rocks and boulders, through fire and ice, to this day.

It is a simple, terrifying leap of faith to decide that what God says about us is more true than everything else that has ever been said about us.

But before you were a baby crying out for care, or a child calling for help in the middle of the night, or a hopeless teenager standing on a ledge, or a lonely lover with nowhere to turn, you were His breath.

Allow God the right to have His breath back, to hold you, to breathe again in you as He longs to doWe are all the lost coin, the pearl of great price, and the treasure of a million kingdoms that He has sailed many miles to bring home. Don't hold our breath a moment longer, let your lungs fill with His truth and know: You are God's fairy tale.

Happily ever after is not a dream, it's our destiny....

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