Posts Tagged unconditional love
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (NIV)
Whenever I feel unloved, I go to Calvary. Whenever I feel pressured by the world, I remember Calvary. Whenever I feel lost, lonely or alone, I go to Calvary–the place where human suffering is laid out in full view. I go to that place where our sinless Lord is dying– not for sins He committed, but for our sins–yours and mine. And I marvel at the way God chose to write an unforgettable message of unconditional love, especially when we were so undeserving and so unworthy. It’s amazing, but you have to see the suffering to see the love. And you will miss the depth of the love if you do not understand the degree of the suffering. What an extraordinary picture God paints of unconditional love!
But if the truth be told, I believe most of us would settle for love in any condition, but it is unconditional love that we crave. You know: love without restrictions;love without prerequisites or requirements; love without qualification or reservation, love without hidden clauses or small print; that never keeps a scorecard of rights and wrongs; that never says, if you love me you would do this; or you don’t love me because you didn’t do that. It’s love that has no limits; that sets no boundaries; that draws no lines; that is always open. It’s the kind of love we get –not because we are lovable but because we are beloved. You see, real, authentic love finds it own way; acts on its own initiative. It’s the 1 Corinthians Chapter 13 kind of love. It’s Jonas Beiler’s “No Pre-nup–No Post-nup” kind of love. That’s the kind of love we want most!
It’s the kind of love, that loves us not just when we are dressed up in all our “stuff” — but also loves when we are dressed down and stripped of all pretense. The kind of love that loves when we are wrestling in the dark corners of our lives. That loves when we are wallowing in our muck, mire, and misery. That loves when we are acting the fool and should know better. That loves whether we are wrong or right. That cherishes us when we get lost and can’t find our way. That loves when we try and fail in our trying, that keeps on loving when we get old, gray, and wrinkled; that loves us even without makeup; that doesn’t stop loving because our breath is unpleasant; our noses are drippy or our hair is a mess; that adores us even when our heads are bald; our bellies hang over our belts and all of our teeth are gone. I’m talking about THE GREATEST LOVE OF ALL– THE LOVE OF GOD THAT (ON CALVARY) LOVED US WITH AN EVERLASTING LOVE — IN SPITE OF WHO AND WHAT WE WERE — THAT SAW US AT OUR WORST AND STILL GAVE THE VERY BEST. WITHOUT A DOUBT, THAT’S (MATCHLESS), UNCONDITIONAL LOVE WITHOUT LIMITS!!!!
The songwriter said it best: “I could not imagine what loving me would cost until Jesus went to Calvary and loved me with a Cross.” May you rejoice always in these words found in Romans 8:38-39 (RSV) “For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Be Blessed and Happy Valentines Day to ALL.
My Grandmother was truly a phenomenal woman. She was one of the first homeowners in our family (during the 60’s). She was an entrepreneur, community leader, woman of integrity and devout Christian. With a mere sixth grade education, she rivaled and was respected by all her friends (mostly doctors, lawyers and political hopefuls), and who surprisingly were our neighbors. Everyone loved Grandma, but I especially adored her. I have no doubt, she was God-sent and her unconditional love set me on an irreversible course that changed my life.
It seems like yesterday. I was age 5–the eldest of four siblings with only two years separating each of us. We lived on a small street that could best be described as an “alley.” My parents were young and sucked at parenting. My father worked nights and my mother “partied” day and night.
One fateful morning when we had been left alone and neighbors believed us abandoned, a woman whom I later learned was a social worker came to take us away. (Even at that young age I remember being terrified.) That day my brothers and sister were taken away to foster homes where they remained until they aged-out of the system. But a miracle happened for me that day–my grandmother took me home with her and raised me until her death when I was age 18.
I do not know why she chose me. I only know I have never known the kind of love we shared before or since. Grandma was my everything and I was the “apple of her eye.” She taught me so much about life and I treasured her every word. First and foremost, she taught me to “Love the Lord God with all my heart, soul, and might” and to place nothing above Him. She taught me to always follow my dreams and to never to give up or settle. Her special Mantra was, “with belief in yourself, hard work and dedication anyone can do anything.
My grandma was my heroine–my Angel–my mother and best friend, and my greatest desire is to be just like her. The pain I experienced since her loss, and the emptiness I still feel, remains unparalleled. I was blessed during our few precious years together and was especially grateful to be at her bedside as she departed this life. I held her hand as she took her last fleeting breath and vowed to make her proud of the life she made possible for me. Thank you Grandma for everything. Had it not been for the Lord who was on my side, the Grace of a great God, and the tender loving care of a grandmother who groomed me for greatness, I don’t know where I would be today.