Sunday, December 2, 2018

An Incomprehensible Kind of LOVE

The other day an incredibly kind and important family in my life sent me a card in the mail. I noticed before opening the envelope that it had been ripped on the side and was resealed with tape. I knew right away that something had been stolen out of it. I opened the envelope to find a $50 Amazon giftcard with the label ripped off revealing the activation code. I typed it right into my Amazon account, only to find that it, of course, had already been used. Someone had stolen the money off the card. 

At first, to be honest, I was shaking with anger—not over losing $50, but just over the thought of being stolen from. 
I thought, “What kind of person would do this?”

In that moment, God spoke so clearly. 

He said: 
“These are the people I’m asking you to love.”

Wait, THIS kind of person is who He’s asking me to love?

I was still boiling... It took everything in me that night not to let the enemy win. I felt the most overwhelming battle between hate and love raging in my spirit. I knew this was a tactic the devil was trying to use to fill me with just enough anger to drown out the grace God was calling me to extend. I didn’t let myself think about it much longer in an effort to keep my mind from drifting off and getting lost in thoughts of annoyance and disappointment.

The morning after this situation, I opened my Bible and picked up reading from where I last left off. 
It “just so happened” to be Romans 5:6-8, which says:

Christ arrives right on time to make this happen. He didn’t, and doesn’t, wait for us to get ready. He presented himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready. And even if we hadn’t been so weak, we wouldn’t have known what to do anyway. 

We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. 
BUT God put His love on the line for us by offering His Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to Him.

Immediately after reading this, I knew why that $50 was stolen from me. 

Just as God turns all bad into good, He used this thief to teach me a much more significant lesson.

We weren’t “set right” with God until Jesus came, so that can only mean that He saw our potential, He planned a future full of blessings, and He wanted us to embrace more of the good He has for us, even WHILE we were still sinners. 
He sent Jesus to die for us even before we decided to love Him back—even before we were redeemed and while we were still thieves. 

This is something Paul says we as humans are incapable of understanding. 

We can comprehend why someone would die for a righteous person, but why would anyone lay down their life for someone who doesn’t even deserve our love?

Luckily, God’s conviction in this was mightier than the devil’s temptation to have me hold onto the anger I felt in that moment. 
Because had I clung to my rage, I would’ve missed it altogether. 

That’s what this battle is all about… it’s fighting for grace even for those who we think least deserve it. It’s fighting to hear God speak clearly, instead of allowing selfish thoughts to drown Him out. It’s fighting for love even in the midst of anger and disappointment. 

Because even WHILE we are still sinners, Jesus died for us. Because even WHILE we are of no use to Him, He still demonstrates His love to us. Because even WHILE we are trapped in the darkness of our sin, we are still deserving of the hope of a brighter future. 
Because even WHILE we chose our sin, He still chooses us.

And because even while they may hurt us, 
these kinds of people deserve His kind of love.


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