When You’re Looking for Love

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We’re resting here, now. All of us are resting. Even the kitty. Well, I’m writing and everyone else is resting, but writing is restorative for me. Especially when my mind is busy thinking about lots of things.

The last few mornings have been rough. Maybe it’s because we’re getting antsy from all the snow and cold.  I’ve got this little boy with all this energy and he doesn’t understand why he can’t tear through the house at full whirl boy speed and yell at the top of his lungs and crash his cars into the walls. He really needs to go outside, but the snow is practically up to his waist and it’s just too doggone cold.

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So, there’s been a lot of yelling and wailing, sobbing and stomping and I’ve sort of been at a loss. Except that God is here with us and I’ve been asking Him how to help my boy with all his frustrations and disappointments. And the other day, I think the good Lord gave me the idea to just sit down and hold my boy more. So, we’ve been doing lots of holding. It helps. Immediately, it helps. Soon as I plop him down in my lap and wrap him up in my arms, he breathes calm again and his sobs turn into words and things in his heart come spilling out.

Then we pray, because all I know to do is pray and we ask God to put His love in our hearts. There are folks that don’t think there’s any such thing as a sinful nature, and they don’t think people were born into the world broken, but I don’t know if those folks have spent much time with three and four year olds. You don’t have to teach a little kid how to keep all the toys for themselves, or how to boss people around or how to hit and yell and spit and demand their own way. You have to teach them how to share. And how to talk kind. And how to give a rip about someone besides themselves and that kind of teaching is hard to do.

But, I don’t want my kids to just perform, you know? I mean, I do want them to be kind, but not just on the outside. I want them to become the kind of people that want to be kind, even when no one is looking over their shoulder and I think that’s where prayer comes in. God, in His Word, commands certain virtues of us. You know, like “love your neighbor as much as you love yourself.” (Mark 12:31) But, it’s been my experience that only by His Spirit can we take His Words, get them into our hearts, and actually change.

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God is love and love comes from Him. (1 John 4:8) So, when we go running to God and ask Him for help, He turns around and gives us the virtues He demands and we become like Him. But, we’ve got to do the praying. We’ve got to do some meditating on true things and good things. This is how we get that truth down deep into our hearts. And, little by little, there’s this little green shoot that grows up. Some call it transformation. I’m pretty sure it’s just a downright miracle.

So, that’s what’s happening at our house. We’re yelling lots. And failing lots. Then, sitting right down and holding lots. We’re praying and finding out what love is. Or, rather, we’re finding out who love is..and hopefully, somewhere along our messy way, we’re becoming a little bit more like Him.

My beloved friends, let us continue to love each other since love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and experiences a relationship with God. The person who refuses to love doesn’t know the first thing about God, because God is love—so you can’t know him if you don’t love. This is how God showed his love for us: God sent his only Son into the world so we might live through him. This is the kind of love we are talking about—not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they’ve done to our relationship with God. (1 John 4:8) (The  Message)

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