Love and Joy in Kenya

It’s hot. I’m covered in dirt and sweat, but the shade in this cool, cement room gives me great relief.  I entered expecting to sit in on a class, observing a teacher and watching his students, hopefully taking pictures and taking notes. Instead, I’m the only adult in a room full of beautiful eyes waiting for me to do something…anything. Teach us something, they seem to shout at me with their silent faces. I wait patiently for someone else to come, someone who knows what is supposed to be done, someone who can do something. But no one does. Without panicking, I make a choice. I can apologetically walk out of the room, or I can share my heart with these kids. And why else did I come?

There is a map on the wall. I put it on the table in front of me, as the kids somehow take my cue and jump out of their seats to see what I am about to do. They gather around me as I stare at the map. “Here,” I say, pointing to the little spot in New York state that I call home. “This is where I am from.”

I explain that it’s cold there. Snow is on the ground. Snow is like ice that falls from the sky, and builds up several feet so that it covers our house. We have to shovel it out of the way just so we can walk and drive to school. I say that I have a handsome husband and two amazing boys that I love. I’ve left them at home so I could be here, with you. It cost me a lot of money to be here, more than I had. It took me two days just to get here. But here I am.

“Yes, there are a lot of mazungos.” (white people) “But there are people of all colors in my town.”

I point to Florida, California, Canada, and Mexico. “I’ve been here, too.” Then Czech Republic, Egypt, Ireland, Amsterdam, Australia and New Zealand. “I’ve traveled here, too.”

Faces are full of awe. Yes, they’d like to travel someday too. They’d like to see America and meet Obama.

One bold voice asks, “Why? Why did you go to these places?”

“For school, for fun, and to help people.”

“To help kids?”


There is a pause.

“Orphans?” he asks.

It was one word, but it caught me so off guard I almost couldn’t understand what he said.

“Yes, some were orphans."  Like you, I think.

With all the thoughts that swirled in my head after that question, my focus was wondering if that made him feel less special, that I’ve also poured out to others before him, or does it make him feel better, knowing there are other kids in different parts of the world who are just like him.

I will never be sure what reasons he wanted to know that, or how my answer made him feel.

I seem to constantly choose difficulties and things that are too hard to do, because I think God has called me to them. Do I choose to suffer? No! But if suffering is on my path, I will walk through it, just like every other thing on the way. I refuse to walk around things just because my legs hurt, or stop moving because I need a break.

This moment was crazy hard. It doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it was. I’ll never forget it. I’ll never forget being alone in a room full of orphans, asking me questions about life and wondering why I’ve come so far just to be with them.

If even one child understands that I came because I LOVE, then my life has meaning.

LOVE is patient and kind. It is not envious and does not boast. It is not proud, rude, self-seeking, or easily offended. It doesn’t keep a record of wrongs and does not delight in evil, but rejoices with truth. Love never gives up, never loses faith, always hopes, and always endures.

I must make sure LOVE is my driving force. I no longer live in fear, or shame, or darkness. I no longer walk in pain and sadness. Love is a movement that keeps my legs running, my feet pounding the ground. Love for those orphans, their country, this world. It is my Joy. And there is no end to that.


“I’m Mary and I’m Martha all at the same time.”

I’ve recently had a frustrating experience. To be honest, I’m frustrated a lot. It’s in my nature. I’m a practical person in an impractical world. I try to see the good in people, but honestly, being realistic is more valuable to me than being a dreamer. I appreciate dreamers. I know they are important. I wouldn’t be able to live in a world full of people like myself…but at my core, I still value practicality and stability over optimism and spontaneity. Maybe I’m boring. Maybe I’m not creative enough with my life. But I know what to expect and I won’t keep you waiting. I might not impress you, but I also won’t disappoint you.

At least that’s my hope.

But is it really? Do I really hope to 'not impress you' and 'not disappoint you'? Surely that can’t be true.

Recently, I’ve been in a situation where my realistic personality was completely unnecessary. Not unnecessary because it was actually unnecessary, but unnecessary because no one around me cared about reality or actuality.  My points were completely valid, and my preparation for this time completely paid off. I was right in every aspect of fear and worry that I had. None of the practical things I thought of were taken care of just as I had assumed.  There was a certain level of satisfaction in it for me, but mostly, I felt unappreciated. I felt unloved. I felt disrespected even. At my core, I realized that my gift for practicality is just as unvalued to some people as their gift for creativity is to me.

There’s always an opportunity for growth in situations like these, where you get a little taste of your own medicine.

I walked away not with a feeling of satisfaction that I was right (which is, in itself, a surprise and quite a feat), but instead I was actually…offended. No one cared what I thought. No one cared how I felt. My thoughts, ideas, plans, and help were totally unwanted.

I know deep down that I can’t live in a world without dreamers, creativity, and people who think outside the box. But at the same time, I really like my box, and I don’t want to think outside of it. It’s a nice box. In fact, I have several boxes for whatever I’m doing. Work. Play. Romance. Mom-stuff. Church. All of my boxes are neat and tidy and are fully equipped for whatever may come my way. So when you force me outside of my box, and then make me cold and hungry, I will inevitably be mad at you.

I don’t see a way around this. I can’t find a solution. There must be good in the way I am. I don’t believe everything about me is just wrong and I should try to be a completely different person. I like adventure. I love to travel. I like to try new things and experience cultures and languages and weird food and weird conversation. I’m not COMPLETELY boring. But at the same time, there is something not quite right here either.

As I was fuming about this difficult situation I was in recently, and completely obsessing in my head about how things could have gone differently, I opened the bible app on my phone and started reading. I was currently in the beginning of a gospel reading about Mary becoming the pregnant virgin and the whole story with Joseph. As I’m reading, I realized a few interesting things about Mary and Joseph: they are completely impractical.

Think about it. Mary knows she’s pregnant. Even if she forgot about the angel coming to her and telling her that she’s going to have a baby by the Holy Spirit, she must know by now because of her big, round belly. And trust me, your belly isn’t the only thing that changes when you’re pregnant. She probably also had morning sickness, and swollen feet, and greasy hair, etc. The point is, she knows she’s pregnant. But the king at the time wants to take a census, so Mary and Joseph have to travel back to his hometown to be counted. Now, I could be wrong, but just thinking here, I’m assuming most women who are about to have a baby in this era would be collecting clothing or blankets or items for their baby to be ready for its birth. I’m pretty sure they were even making clothes back in the day, or at least blankets. Yet, when Jesus was born (in a barn, come on, a little money sent ahead to ensure a place to stay would have been nice), they didn’t even have a blanket for him, so they wrapped him in cloths that were just lying around. How is that possible? How did she honestly not have something special ready for the MESSIAH baby???? This is GOD’S SON we’re talking about. You really didn’t think this through, Mary, mother of Jesus? Were they thinking, “we’re going on a long journey. We’re very pregnant. Should I pack anything or plan this through? Nah, we’ll be fine.” WHAT WAS SHE THINKING?

As I’m thinking about this, I am also considering how this is the woman that God chose to honor above all women. He thought so highly of her, that He entrusted His only Son into her care. Maybe God doesn’t value practicality as highly as I do.

Then I thought about Jesus. He has to be one of the most impractical people ever. He just trusts that God will do everything for Him! He needs to pay His taxes, so He goes fishing and pulls a coin out of a fish’s mouth. He doesn’t even pack a pillow or anything so he sleeps with his head on a rock. He preaches to thousands of people for hours and hours and doesn’t have a way to feed them. Ugh! That would drive me crazy about Him! ‘Think ahead Jesus!’ I would yell.

He knew God was taking care of all the details. His Father was holding it all together, and He basically didn’t have to.

I get angry when people do that. I don’t like when things just “work out” for them. You are supposed to work hard and get what you deserve.

I’m not sure this is okay.

It’s kind of like Mary and Martha.

“As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him.  She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said.  But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one.  Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

I am so Martha. First of all, I’d like to point out that Martha has a home. Mary, in this story, does not. It’s Martha’s home. She has guests. A lot of them. They are dirty and they didn’t bring any food with them. I don’t know what Martha’s life is like, but she probably had to whip up some food and offer clean water and fresh clothing for them. That was a lot of work. And she was doing it faithfully, but alone. All the while her good-for-nothing sister was sitting at Jesus’s feet and soaking it all up! What a waste. She SHOULD be in this kitchen helping me.

That’s what I would do. I think.

But if I actually thought about Jesus being in my house, the Lover of my soul, my true and only desire, how could I not stop everything and just sit at His feet? I love Jesus. I can’t imagine being concerned about my dishes if He was actually here with me, telling me stories, bringing me life, healing me of every ailment, wiping away every tear.

That’s what I would do. I think.

I’m both. I’m Mary and I’m Martha all at the same time. And I understand the importance of both. But how can I be two things at the same time, all the time? It doesn’t feel possible. Especially with all my boxes. I’m usually one or the other. I can’t be both.

But I am reminded of spiritual matters. Martha is my flesh. She works, toils, sows and reaps. She is proud of her achievements and demands what is fair. But then there’s my spirit. Like Mary, she lights up at the sight of her Love. She drops everything to come out and meet Him. She urges and pushes and gently persists that I find what my deepest self is longing for.

In this way, it makes sense to be both. The bible talks a lot about the struggle of being a human with a natural flesh, and being a spiritual being with a heavenly mindset. These two units even fight against each other. So I guess the question is, when it really comes down to it, which part do I want to help win? Which part do I want to cultivate? Do I want to be an earthly body who is here today and gone tomorrow? Or do I want to be a spiritual being who lives forever in unity with My Love?

At the last day, when Jesus comes back, what part of myself do I want Him to see shining through? Do I want to be ready when He calls my name? Or do I want to be too busy working out the practical details to even hear Him in the first place?


Week 15. Love Always Endures

We begin with patience (Week 1: Love is Patient), and we end with something really close to it: Love Always Endures. There is a journey shown in this small sentence. It shows a beginning and an end. It shows a suffering, a beautiful hand-crafted story encompassing great loss and great joy. This is life. And this is how LOVE lives life. It always endures.

There are endless ways we all have to ‘endure’ in some form or other in our lifetime. From an infant enduring his 2 minutes of panic before he eats, to the mother enduring her desperate need for sleep. These are basic and survival ways to endure. Then there are harsher things we endure that spark some emotional endurance, like a fist fight between students at school, discipline from a parent, or harsh words spoken by a close friend. Worst of all are the things that we end up enduring for a lifetime, like physical trauma, adultery, or the loss of a loved one. Some things we endure for a short time and are necessary for normal and healthy living, but others we endure every minute of every day. These pains never leave us, but Love shows us that there is still a light at the end of the tunnel.

Without hope, how could anyone move on from a traumatic event? When you lose a loved one, there is a time of grief where you can’t even think about moving on. This is completely acceptable and even healthy. But there seems to come a day, or maybe months or years, when you have a choice to walk out your life in “patient endurance” and choose love. Love always endures. Love endures all things.

A lot of people have heard, “God will never give you more than you can handle.” It’s supposed to be an encouragement, it’s like saying, “you can do it, you got this, you can handle it.” But I have to completely disagree with this line of thinking. First of all, it’s not biblical. The verse that most people are referring to when they state this is 1 Corinthians 10:13: “…God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.” Temptation is referring to sin. The bible isn’t saying here you won’t face things more difficult than you’ll be able to endure. The bible is saying that you won’t be tempted to sin beyond what you are able to control, but God will give you a way out of the temptation. This is a huge distinction. The point is that God isn’t laying traps for us to see if we fall into sin and fail. He’s actually rooting for us. When something sinful and destructive falls into your path, He’ll offer a road around it. He’ll offer a door when you feel trapped.

It’s important that we understand the bible is NOT saying here that God won’t give us painful circumstances beyond what we’re able to endure. We know that ignoring or walking around something painful only makes it worse. We can’t ignore our problems. So why would God be offering a way to “escape” from an emotional struggle?

Does God bring unexplainable peace and joy and comfort in painful situations? Yes! But He isn’t saying He won’t allow these things to happen to us. Just look at your life. Look at the life of those around you. Have terrible and painful things happened? Do you really think it was within your ability to handle it?

The truth is, life brings many circumstances that are beyond what we can handle. But the truth doesn’t stop there, we have another truth to follow it. When we are weak, He is strong. When I can’t do it, God can through me. When I’ve had enough, He is there to pick me up and carry me THROUGH it. Not around it. Through it. Will we suffer? YES! Jesus promises suffering. Will life be crazy hard? Absolutely! But I have a Love in my heart that can bear and endure anything that comes my way. It’s not MY love. This is another important distinction. I can’t get through these difficult times by tapping into my own love that I’ve worked so diligently to practice or “put on”. I can only get through these things by tapping into the Love of my Creator, who has a bottomless barrel of love that flows through me so that I “never thirst again.” This conversation between Jesus and the “woman at the well” has always confused me. If Jesus is really like water that will make us never thirst again, then why am I always thirsty? And isn’t it healthy to be thirsty for God? But I think I am starting to understand it. The point is that you never have to go thirsty again. The water is always there, the Love inside of me is always ready to be drunk. But unfortunately, I forget about it over and over again, until my own love runs dry.

Love is patient, love is serviceable, love is not jealous and it does not boast. Love is not proud or rude and is not self-seeking. It is not easily offended and doesn’t keep a record of wrongs. It doesn’t delight in evil but rejoices with truth.  Love never gives up, never loses faith, always hopes, and always endures.

I am probably able to love like this (if I try really hard) about 2% of the time. This is my own judgment of myself and not a scientific calculation. I have a little bit of patience, but when I’m tired I have none. I’m good at not keeping a record of wrongs because I have a terrible memory, but there are some things I’ll hold onto. I’m not typically jealous, but if my husband is talking to a woman I don’t know I’ll have some interesting things to say. I could go on…

But I’ve learned that when I come to a place where I realize I have no love left, I cry out to God and all of a sudden, I have an infinite amount of patience, or kindness, or rejoicing. Do you see why God allows us to go through things beyond what we’re able? Because then we get an even greater gift! We get to tap into a resource that never ends. If I were able to endure all things in my own strength, I would never need God. Humans would never have had to reach out to God in the first place. We would have no tool for evangelism, and there would be no need for us to help anyone else. We go through things in life obviously stronger than ourselves, which help point us to something obviously greater than ourselves: Love. Love is greater. It is always there, and it never runs out. It endures all circumstances, even beyond what I’m able.

Thank God that He is Love, and that He offered Himself up completely for me, so I could learn how to Love like He loves.


Week 14: Love Always Hopes

One distinction between love and other forces is that love doesn’t end. With the onslaught of enemies and distractions to divide and destroy love, we need a Hope in our inner beings that rises up when all is lost. We need a Hope that passes our understanding, so that literally ‘when there is no hope’, there is still Hope.

It seems to me that hope usually doesn’t win in this life. We don’t end up experiencing joy, because too many bad things happen, love fades and gets lost, and all good things come to an end. The problem that we face with these thoughts as Christians is that they’re true. I have struggled with the thought that ‘sadness is all there is.’ There is no real joy. You may have a reason to celebrate, but then the next day brings the inevitable crash back down. I have struggled between the reality of sadness, and the truth of what Jesus came down to show us. After years of trying to figure out how both could be true, someone gave me a word from God, and I’ve lived off of it for years now. Someone finally got real with me. She said, “You’re right. In THIS world, there is no such thing as everlasting joy. You’ll never find it by searching here. But in GOD’S Kingdom, there is joy abounding!” I had an answer I could stand on.  Jesus came to earth to show us that we can bring this Kingdom and all its gifts (including joy) down to earth. What a beautiful hope that was implanted in my heart that day.

When all joy and hope are lost, I still have a hope. It doesn’t come from this world. It doesn’t come from my effort. It comes freely and wildly from heaven itself. Before I even came to know God, I felt the effects of this hope in my life. When I went through very dark times, contemplating ending it all, God gave me dreams so real and vivid that I can only explain them as complete and utter Hope. In the dream I would be happy, satisfied, and free, enjoying a beautiful moment, sometimes sitting on a beach, sometimes enjoying a mountain view. It may have been a trick of my brain, since it was so chemically imbalanced and dysfunctional, but I believe God’s hand was in it, purposed to implant a hope deep inside of me. No matter how bad I got, the dream was still there, and it was so real I felt it had to be a glimpse into my future*. There was hope.

(*Years later, I had a moment that matched one of these dreams, where I felt a peace and joy sitting alone on a beach on the other side of the world. The original dream may have been a trick of my brain, but my life actually brought this dream to pass, with an amazing feeling of satisfaction at the reality of it, and I have no earthly explanation for this.)

Eventually it was hope that brought me to God. I was seeking Him, without realizing it, and hope started to flow in. The amazing thing about hope is that it actually brings dead things to life. I was starting to feel alive. My eyes were being opened. I could feel my heart beating and blood flowing. And eventually I was feeling hope and love so intensely, I felt I was on fire compared to the cold, lifeless heart that I had before.

Hope is incredible.

So naturally, hope is an important part of love.

But there is an important distinction we need to make between Hope in Love, and selfish hope. Love cannot survive without hope, but selfish hope can also kill love. For instance, a parent might hope for a child to become something specific, all the while killing the very things that God actually intended for them.

Since today is my 9 year wedding anniversary to my beloved husband, I will use us as a reference. (Sorry babe.)

I married an artist, photographer, painter, musician, missionary. Without knowing it, I had hoped to keep him in a safe world, where he worked a boring job and we did fun and meaningful things together on the side. I honestly hoped he would become a plumber or electrician, something respectable because of its necessity and craft, but something that would also keep him, I’m ashamed to say, tame. I had a HOPE that he would be safe. Life would be easy. We would be NORMAL. I am now married to a police officer/ERT operator. Most of the things my husband does at work can not be discussed.  No, I didn’t get re-married, this is the same man. I did not even realize I had this selfish hope, until, thankfully, he did not meet my expectations. What I hoped for him was plainness and safety, but what I LOVE about him, is that he is, like God, totally wild and uncontrollable and unpredictable. Thank God, He placed a hope deep inside my husband that overrode my will for his life. If he followed my hope, instead of God’s call, I wouldn’t love and respect him the way I do today.

The worst part about this selfish hope is that it’s usually not what we really want anyway. I wouldn't be satisfied with a boring, predictable, tamed husband. What we really want, and what really satisfies us, is God’s plan. When we work and strive for our own plan, we end up unhappy AND confused that it didn’t bring joy. The best thing I can do for my husband, and my kids, and my friends, is to encourage them to seek and walk in God’s plan for their lives. For my husband, my goal is to help him stay on that path, because what I really want (beyond all my other desires for him) is for my husband to walk out God’s plan for his life. I also know that this is the BEST plan for MY life as well. My life will be so full of adventure and mystery and fun and meaning, as long as we’re on that path together.

Selfish hope will distinguish the love inside of you. Because even if this hope is fulfilled, it brings no joy or satisfaction with it. This is False Hope.

Be careful that your hopes for others and for yourself line up with God’s hopes. THIS is love: that we Hope for and earnestly seek God’s plan, that His Kingdom will be brought to THIS life. “Every good and perfect gift comes from above,” (James 1:17). When we experience joy and love and beauty in this life, we’re experiencing heaven! And we’re meant to be actively bringing heaven to earth daily. ‘Love always hopes’ is an excellent way to bring Heaven to earth.


“Don’t stop Believin’…

…Hold on to that feeeeeeelin’.”

This famous Journey song has a point. I don’t actually know what the listeners were meant to continue believing in, but everyone I know has not only heard this song, but can also probably sing a few lines. Whether you’re at karaoke or a doctor’s office waiting room, you’ll hear a few people chime in on, “don’t stop believin’.” These encouraging words hit something inside us. No matter who you are, or what you’re trying to do, this message is important. We all have moments that are too hard to go on. We evaluate, we strive, we take life into our own hands, we give up, we stop, we are done. Some moments I don’t have any feelings or emotions that tell me to go on. And yet, something inside of me, if I let it, can say, “Don’t stop believing. Hold on to that feelin’…”.

At the beginning of a run, I have a very confident feeling that I can go 2 miles without walking. But then I’m running and I start to doubt. Towards the end, I’m almost certain I’ll have to stop. But if I bring to mind the confidence that I had at the beginning, if I take the feeling I had in the past, and HOLD ON to it, I find myself finishing. I can take a past feeling, and make it real for here and now, without actually feeling it. This is called believing.

We have to do this sometimes. Not just in exercise but in daily life, especially in relationships and love. We “feel” all sorts of things for each other. Impatience. Jealousy. Disgust. But I can tap into something greater, something beyond how I feel, and make the choices to love based on a Love placed inside of me by my Creator.

Imagine if we all loved each other like that?

Imagine if the world saw us loving like that?

If our message to the world was, “It doesn’t matter how I feel. I’m choosing to love. Always. All the time. Never ending. Never failing.”, it would be impossible not to see Christ in us.

But so often this is not the case. We give up just like everyone else. We don’t love just like everyone else. Where have we given up? Or, more likely, where have we not even begun to love?

There are some areas of love that seem too impractical to even try. “Love always believes? What a stupid thing to say. When there is no hope, I’m sorry, but I’m going to admit that there’s no hope.”  NO! The bible says ‘Love always believes!’ It doesn’t stop believing! It always hopes! It never loses faith! It never gives up!

Love is patient, love is serviceably kind, love is not jealous, and it does not boast. Love is not proud or offensive. It’s not self-seeking, and it’s not easily offended. It doesn’t keep a record of wrongs, it doesn’t delight in evil, but it rejoices with truth! Love never gives up, never loses faith, always hopes, and always endures.

These things seem impossible, so we don’t even try. But here is your challenge: it’s time to love the way God does. Not just each other, but the whole world. If we actually loved like Jesus loved, we would be transformed, and the world might get to experience a little “heaven on earth”.


Week 13: Love Never Loses Faith

Love always believes.

The actual translation is “all things believes”. Obviously Paul doesn’t mean that love believes in all truths, or any doctrine, or any salvation. So what does he mean that Love believes all things?

The word for believes found in this passage is “pisteuo” which means “I believe”, but the word is actually derived from the  “peitho” which is "to be persuaded." In study, I learned that this word had a 'sacred significance' that the culture understood that we probably do not, about being persuaded by the Lord, or a ‘believing that proceeds from God’s implanting of faith.’

In other words, it starts with Him.

Human faith is wavering at best. Our beliefs sway to and fro with each wind. Science sometimes confirms things about God we already believed (we just heard a teaching about how scientists are discovering that the brain can actually be changed by specific practices, which we have always believed as the “renewing of the mind” found in Paul’s letter to the Romans.) But sometimes science seems to disprove something from the bible. Early Christians believed the earth was the center of the universe, or at least stood still, based on a verse in Joshua. When scientists proved that the sun was the center of our solar system, and that actually the earth revolved around the sun, the religious community went crazy, even putting people to death for such slander against the bible. When something like this happens today (like fights about evolution or how old the earth is), I just look at my loving God, my personal relationship with Jesus, and think to myself, “Who cares if science proves something I believed in isn’t true? It doesn’t change all my personal interactions with God Himself, it doesn’t change who He is, and it honestly makes no difference to me.”*  Science itself changes over the ages, so believing everything based on science requires just as much faith and stubbornness, or most likely even more, than religion, because with science, there is no personal and spiritual conviction attached. I strongly believe that the earth revolves around the sun. Does it affect my relationship with God and the plans that He has for my life? No. Sorry, it just doesn’t.

Our faith, our belief, starts with something that God placed in us. I’m not convinced that Jesus is Lord just because someone told me it’s so. I’m convinced because I’ve heard Him speak, I’ve felt His comfort, and I’ve gotten to know His guidance in my life, all because HE started an interaction with ME. HE called me out of the deepest waters. HE threw me a lifeline. He may respond to me seeking and searching, yes, but only because I am responding to the desire HE set within my heart.

The love that always believes and never gives up, is not something I have to strive for. It’s there. God placed it in me. It’s HIS LOVE that never gives up and always believes. In fact, when I try to love in my own strength, I fail miserably. Once I take my marriage into my own hands, and try to love my spouse with MY love, it runs out, I give up, it’s too hard, I can’t do it. But when I tap into God’s Love, I find an endless stream of life, a water that quenches my thirst so that I’ll never thirst again.

Loving in my own strength equals giving up, doubt, loss of faith, wavering belief, sadness, and criticism.

Loving from God’s “implanting of faith” means there is no end to the amount of love I can give. I don’t stop believing in this love, I am convinced God Himself put it there in me. And He doesn’t remove this gift from me, ever. Romans 11:29 says that, “God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable.” He placed this deep faith inside me and is not going to take it away. It doesn’t matter what I do. It will always be there. How can I not “believe all things” when this is the case?

Think about it. You have a resource of never-ending faith already placed inside your heart. Let’s ask God how to tap into it better, how to walk in the Spirit and the sacred truth placed in our hearts, rather than walking from every emotion or pain or fear in our minds. We are more than just a brain, we are a Soul, something so important to God that He planted little secrets inside there for us to seek after. It sets us apart from the other animals on earth**. We have a faith set deep inside of us, a gift that can never be taken away, which allows us to RESPOND to Him in seeking and searching.

One of the greatest desires I have for my life on earth is to have an adventure. What a waste life would be if there were no adventure, no discovery, no rush and thrill of wildness and chasing? And what better way to have an adventure than to seek this Wild God who gives us treasures along the way, hinting at a love and beauty that never end.

There is just nothing more satisfying than that.


Love Bears All Things

I think we can also look at this verse in the sense of what true love really is. True love isn’t about that feeling we get with ‘butterflies in our tummies’ (as my kids would say), it’s something Strong and Powerful enough to bear all things. Think about that. In order to actually bear all things, (including but not limited to: stupidity, selfishness, boredom, trauma, death and adultery) love has to be pretty powerful. This quote sums up the power of a Love that bears all things: 

“My love for you is deathless, it seems to bind me with mighty cables that nothing but Omnipotence could break.”

This love is stronger than feelings, emotions, or circumstances. This is God’s love.

When I made a vow to be faithful to my husband no matter what, I really meant it. I had no idea what it would entail fully, nobody does. But it doesn’t matter. Your love in the moment when you say ‘I do’ is stronger than the what-ifs. Sometimes you don’t feel it, but you stand on the truth that Love Bears All Things. If you can get through a hard time together, you’ll look back and realize how much stronger your love is, how much more you love and respect each other because of it.

It goes beyond our spouses too. We’re supposed to love everyone this way. Not just our church family, or group of friends. Jesus even called us to love our enemies. In fact, Jesus goes so far as to say, “Do you think you’re special because you love your friends? Everyone loves those that love them!” We are called to an even higher place, where we love those who don’t love us.

I can’t help but wonder when love gives up, was it ever really love in the first place? If someone loves me, and then they don’t love me anymore, did they ever really love me? If Love Bears All Things, than is something that doesn’t bear all things not love? Or did we have love, but then made a choice to no longer love? If you make a choice to no longer love, was it really love to begin with?

If love really bears all things, then we shouldn’t be complaining so much about the people that love us, or the people we love, and we should even stop complaining about people we don’t like that much. We actually need to ask God for this Powerful Love, that outranks our fear, hatred, annoyance, or just plain dislike of someone else. We can walk in the Love that never gives up, that bears all things, that keeps going, keeps loving. Maybe you don’t know how to love like that. That’s okay. We’re asking God to help us, and we’re learning a lot about love along the way.

Remember, it’s about the heart. You may not love perfectly every moment, but as long as you’re on the journey, and saying YES to God when He shows you something, or corrects you, or even disciplines you, your heart will be in the right place.

Love bears all things. Let’s live it.