Sometimes the people we love the most fall short of our expectations. We either want more from them, or we want more for them. Either way it is in these moments we realize our love is conditional. Faith helps me to get a step closer to loving unconditionally when my love is conditional.
The phrase unfailing love is in the bible over 32 times and each of those times the source of the love is God himself. As I have looked at these verses they have shown me how much faith it really takes for love not to fail in the moment. I need more faith in the moments I am called to do right and extend love to someone when I don’t think they deserve it, or when I don’t agree with a decision they are making. I need faith that God’s unfailing love will fill the space in my heart that is lacking love, that I can extend love even when it is hard or hurts and know that it’s because someone greater is loving me – Him. When I lack the love I need for others in my life it takes faith to believe in His unfailing love that can give me the courage to push past my limits.
God has been teaching me a lot about this – loving beyond my limits and my understanding.
Ps 94:18-19, 22 “When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your love, O Lord, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul….But the Lord has become my fortress, and my God the rock in who I take refuge.”
God being my refuge means its ok. It’s ok for me to be disappointed and let go of my expectations. Sometimes those expectations are unreasonable and will not get met. That coworker who is really hard to work with may never change, nor disappear if I close my eyes long enough. And that friend that I had a vision or hope for, well they may chose a different vision for their life, and I need to accept that if I really love them. Sometimes I may think I know what will hurt those closest to me, but ultimately, if God works for the good of those who love Him then He is working for their good beyond me.
Seeing God’s unfailing love for us also helps to love others less conditionally.
Is 30:18 “Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait on him!”
I don’t know what God knows. I cannot see into the future. All I have to go on, if I believe Him, is that he is gracious to me and therefore I should be at least as gracious to others as he is to me. I don’t know about you, but in my case that means I need to be REALLY gracious to others. More often than not I’m not gracious, but I’m working on it and hopefully getting there.
Nah1:7 “The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him.
Recently, God has been an immense refuge in my hard times. In these times I have seen his unfailing love and it has indeed compelled me to be quicker to let things go, to seek humility over being right, to seek His truth and favor over that of others and ultimately to entrust my heart to Him. He is my portion and strength. When we really meditate on this and the power of it, putting it into practice, hoping in Him can be a real game changer.
Ps90:17 “May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the works of our hands for us – yes, establish the works of our hands.”