I received the note on Friday night, the first night of the conference I was attending for the weekend. In it were words that had been prayed over before I arrived and written down specifically for me.
As I read it, nothing really reverberated in my heart. It seemed pretty general, in fact – could be taken several ways. I shrugged and put it away.
I enjoyed the weekend, the musical worship, the teaching and insight that was shared, the times of prayer and fellowship with friends.
On the drive home I began sharing something with the friends I had driven up with. Something had come to me on that last day as I had some prayer time with some women. They were praying for a relationship in my life, one that I had not spent much time dwelling upon. But suddenly, it was like a light turned on to illuminate something. I realized that I had not been living in love the way that Jesus asks me to.
I was suddenly reminded of the words in the note that I had opened on Friday night and that had not meant much to me then. In hindsight, it seems that God had had an idea of what was to unfold over the next 2 days. And those words in that note were right on. People praying for me before the conference had been asking the Lord for what He had to say, not knowing what it might mean or how it might play out. And it was only later that I realized the significance.
I spent part of the next day in tears, talking to God about it all, feeling the sorrow of hurt that I have caused over …. well…. years really. I was feeling the weight of my sin; the weight of the sin of not loving someone who deserved more love than I ever gave.
Thankfully, we do not have to stay bowed low in a place of grief or condemnation for our lack of love. God gently places His hand beneath our chin and lifts up our head. “Look me in the eye, child” He says quietly. And when we do, we are only aware of the immense love that shines out from His eyes, surrounding us and taking that grief for our sin away. There is no condemnation in Him. There is forgiveness.
There is forgiveness because of one man who chose to take the full pain, the full grief, the full punishment for all of the sin of the entire world on his shoulders. It is because of Jesus that I am free to get up, head held high, and walk knowing that I am fully forgiven.
And I pray that the God of love will enable me to love more fully… more like Him.
May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you... 1Thess. 3:12