Psalm 138:8 The Lord will work out his plans for my life—for your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever.
Isaiah 43:4 God says: “…You are precious to me. You are honored, and I love you.”
Ephesians 3:19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
God has gifted me [Elaine] with an intriguing place to live, a valley with a volcano on one side, lavish flowers all year round, interesting old ruins from the late 1700s, and bright blue skies. Hiking through the surrounding forests as they “sing,” I appreciate God’s cleverness in all he made. I cherish God’s love in my everyday life.
Enjoying family and friends, holding them in God’s deep love, makes life interesting. Technology connects us with people at a distance. I encounter strangers with openness, as an opportunity to see Christ in them. Loving and honoring others with genuine affection and delight (Romans 12:10) makes life meaningful.
I fall more in love with God as I learn about his creativity through the innovations of people, in books, documentaries, art, music, and technology. Hospitality, my own creativity, and finding ways to serve others keep me in God’s love. Hearing from God through Scripture, even puzzling things out with help of a commentary, allows me to experience His love.
I am grateful for all the loves in my life: family, friends, community, place, Scripture, beauty, justice, goodness, God himself… Scripture uses the word “love” 500 times in the Old Testament, beginning with parental and spousal love, so it makes sense we find much joy in our families. We find khesed, God’s unfailing love, mentioned about 120 times. Scripture calls us to respond to God’s love with our own: for him, neighbors, strangers, even enemies. Jesus says we are to love him even more than our closest family members, not loving them less, but practicing an even greater love.
Love is produced in us by the Holy Spirit. It knits us together, protects us, makes us good examples, and perfects us as we live in God. Reading through all 800 or so references to love in the Bible builds in me a deep sense of how pervasive love is in our lives. As the Ephesians reference says, Christ’s love is too great to fully understand with our minds. We must experience it. Love is his very nature and appreciating this becomes bedrock for our lives.
As I go through any ups, downs, or plateaus in life, I find it helpful to remember that “Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance… Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love” (I Corinthians 13:7, 13). God’s faithful love makes my everyday life a very good place to be.
P.S. from Debbie: Elaine is the second to respond to my call for “But God” stories. I can’t wait to receive yours!