There are twelve more minutes left of Thanksgiving and I can't sleep. This is extremely rare for me as usually I'm asleep leaning on my husband on the couch or at the very least as soon as my cheek sinks into the pillow.
Today was fabulous and even though I miss my family I'm thankful for my friends. I'm thankful for the gift of having people to love.
"Love one another, even as I have loved you." Jesus said these words. He did not say 'love your family' or 'love the people you like' or 'love the things people do or have.' He said LOVE ONE ANOTHER. This love he speaks of is sadly so foreign to our culture, isn't it just year ago that a poor man was trampled to death so that people could buy stuff? This is not love, at least not a love for people, it is a love for stuff. It's just stuff, loving the people in our life is the thing that brings us the most reward, the most happiness and the most fulfillment. Even though or I guess in spite of this love, as sinners, people have caused others (even loved ones) great pain.
1 Peter 4:8 says, "Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins." Amen to that, I have been hurt by those I love many times sometimes it is hard but I'll always love them. I'm certain I have hurt those I care most about too, I'm a sinner just the same I can try not to hurt them but I, like you am a fallen, imperfect person.
I began thinking about the word fervent, intense passion, with great zeal, hot and fiery are some of it's definitions paraphrased. What does fervent love look like? What does it mean to love our spouses and our kids fervently? Compassion, a willingness to serve them, even discipline. We still discipline those we love, because we love. What does it feel like to keep fervent in our love for our family and friends? Do they feel that love? What does it sound like to show intense feelings of love to a total stranger? How does his love act? Does it mean an encouraging smile to a mom with a tantrum crazed toddler or just being pleasant to those around you even if they are not.
This brings me to my next long passage, Romans 12:9-21 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. On the contrary: "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head."Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Now that today is done and another today has begun sleep is beginning to fog my thoughts. I bid sweet dreams and pray that God will teach me this love and implant it into the hearts of my children and all of the world, especially through the upcoming Christmas season. Will You please open my eyes to ways that I can show this love to those closest to me as well as those I've never met. Please forgive me for the times I haven't been loving to others and please keep giving me opportunities to show Your love. I thank you Lord for people to love.