Flying home from Idaho, I heard many impressive stories from a successful businessman sitting next to me. He shared how he gained distribution for his product in Trader Joe's, among other things. However, his tone changed to exuberance as he shared stories about his dog and two best friends—how they were always there for him and provided much joy in his life. I was struck by how much more powerful love is, even over our most significant accomplishments.
God reminds us repeatedly in the Bible that He is always with us and will never leave or forsake us. In my quick google search, I found 100 Bible verses proclaiming this truth. God wants us to have complete confidence that He is with us always, because it fulfills one of our greatest needs. This truth changes us and enables us to love others with the love He first gave us.
I recently experienced this love when I suddenly lost my dog of 15 years. Not only did I feel God's love, but also that of my friends, which turned my broken heart into a grateful one.
Love changes our hearts and draws us to one another. That's why Jesus told us all the laws of the prophets are fulfilled in the greatest commandment to Love God and Love Others. (Matthew 22:37-40 paraphrased)
Sometimes I think I need to do something major to be used by God, but He just wants me to be available to love those right in front of me. Love is the primary work of Christ. John 13:35 tells us they will know we are Christians by our love. Love is our mark of distinction; it is how we are identified.
God is near the brokenhearted and wants us to be near each other. We get to be the hands and feet of Jesus when we love one another. Being present with someone without distraction is a great gift.
So, thank you, Leslie, for being my shadow when I put my dog down while my family was away, Nikki for homemade soup, and my friends who dropped off cards, plants, and flowers and picked up the phone to check in daily. And a special shout out to my young friend Molly, who painted this watercolor of our little man. She felt God calling her to be His artist's hands of comfort.
This Valentines Day let's be the arms and legs of Jesus, a conduit of His love.