Monday, March 27, 2017
Written by Angeline M Duran Santiago
I’ve read countless books, listened to hundreds of sermons, attended retreats and searched the scriptures during some of the most difficult times in my life. All the advice in the world ends where God’s Word clearly begins and continues to remind me, “Love. Love one another. Love your neighbor.” In so many heart breaking situations, those verses appear before my eyes. I hear my mom, like an endless echo, “Angie, love, love covers everything. With love all things are possible.” It isn’t anything new. This fact is as ancient as creation yet it continues to challenge the heart that is full of hurt, anger, frustration and disappointment.
Love continues to bang on the door of hearts that are scarred, mistreated, and abused. Love continues to stand at the entrance of our homes while we argue, face misunderstandings, and walk away from one another in heated debates. Love sits on our beds and wonders how long will the silence between husbands and wives continue, and how long will children cry themselves to sleep because of the drama that takes place in their home on a regular basis, even though the sign on their door says, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
It isn’t always easy when the ones you love seem to be the ones to hit you the hardest. It’s also very difficult when you find a church where you want to be a part of and you’re quickly able to identify people that are on a mission to challenge your trust in the Lord. We say, “Hurt people, hurt people” but how long do we use that excuse? If we are people who have surrendered to Christ and it is no longer we who live but Christ in us, then where does this phrase fit? Do we use our past hurts as an excuse to hurt and offend others whenever we are in a bad mood? Some also say, “The church is full of sinners who need a savior.” And I agree. I also believe that Christians, to some degree, should be growing and maturing in the Lord if their heart and mind is truly after seeking and serving the Lord. But, so many know how to play the game, put on the face and give the look so many believe in. Too many are still full of hatred, jealousy, and walking in falsehood. Where is the love that changes and restores?
It is this love that God constantly reminds me that is the greatest weapon in my pocket. When life hurts, love heals. When the family wars against one another, Love brings peace. When the church seems to be a place of hurting in place of healing, Love covers a multitude of sin. Love helps us forgive. Love helps us to do what hurts deep inside. It can be as easy as hugging your child who has spoken harshly at you and God will remind you, “Hug them. Love them.” It can be your spouse who has been cold, distant and cruel no matter how much you try to help them grow in the Lord, and you’ll see those words pop out at you, “Love them like I’ve loved you!”
“Lord, but they keeping on letting me down and breaking my heart!” We cry out with tears in our eyes and our chests heavy with rejection and bruises. “But, I’ve loved you at your worst. I’ve loved you when you rejected my love. I’ve never stopped loving you.” A gentle whisper filled with the warmth of heaven’s embrace gently floods my already brokenness and reminds me that when I was broken, His love, His amazing love, renewed me and healed me.
I imagine the one place the enemy attacks and tries to distract us the most in our homes. It is the place where LOVE should abound the most. We create our families out of our love for one another. Love builds our homes. We invite God into our homes because again, “GOD IS LOVE.” And yet, it is where that ugly devil steps in, unwelcomed to plant discord, strife, misunderstanding, betrayal and sin. God stands every present to remind us that LOVE CONQUERS and OVERCOMES. Holy Spirit floods our homes when we praise the Lord and cry out to the Lord, reminding us that with God’s love in our lives we can do great things. We can forgive, again, and again, and again. We can embrace the offender. We can sit down with the one who has used their tongue like a rotten sword against us and still serve them dinner. We cook for the one who has pushed away. We prepare our homes to be a safe haven for the one who makes us feel unloved, guilty and hated. We season every part of what we do with a LOVE we know that on our own and in our own strength we would never have. God’s Love. God’s amazing love that destroys the works of the devil. God’s love heals, delivers, and restores family and friendships.
That’s the LOVE I hold on to today. I pray the Lord floods your life and your surroundings with that great love so that no matter what comes your way, Love can and will always make a way.
I pray you're blessed. Feel free to leave a comment or a prayer request.