Love. Now that is a big word. Just when I think I have learned enough to figure out love, I find that I am just scrapping the iceberg. I know that I crave love. I know that I need love more than I realize. I know that love belongs in my being like water belongs in a well. The desire to find that water to fill my soul is overwhelming. That desire has driven me to my knees. It has meant the choice between happiness and despair. I have found that love is where I am made to live.
I have been learning about triune love- the love of God- the love of the trinity. Altruistic love is a completely unselfish love that two beings share. It is a love that gives everything of one’s self to another and expects nothing in return. It is loving someone for who they are and not for what they have done or accomplished or have given. In the trinity, the Father and the Son share this perfect altruistic love for one another. Their love is so powerful that it takes on a being all its own in the Holy Spirit.
God created man in his own image. Our souls are vessels to hold love. Our souls need this love like our lungs need air. God desires with all of his being to share this love with us. He wants so much to fill our souls. But we have to say yes. We have to choose it. What would this love mean to us if he didn’t give us the choice to choose it? What kind of lover forces his love on his beloved? God loves us so much that he wants us to choose his love. He is patient enough to give us our lifetime to make this choice. His desire to share love with us is greater than we can ever imagine.
Because of original sin, we have been separated from God. Our ability to share in his love was greatly compromised when Adam chose to believe a lie. God has gone to great lengths to restore that relationship with us. God’s desire to give that love to us drove him to do the unthinkable. God gave up his beloved for us. The father sacrificed the second person of the trinity for us. He gave us the object of his powerful love. And Christ, for the love of us and the Father also did the unthinkable. He chose to leave the father’s presence and come to earth and become vulnerable to us. He became a helpless baby. He became a man in a world absent of the love that possessed every ounce his very being. He delivered the message of divine love to a generation that didn’t understand it or accept it. And when they rejected him, he continued to give- to love. When they couldn’t or wouldn’t understand His message, he showed them- he showed us. He completely gave himself to us. He took upon himself the punishment of our sin. He sacrificed himself so that we may share in the powerful love of God. This act by Christ is a mystery that I will spend my life unraveling. But I know that the love God shows us in this act is greater than my mind can imagine and my heart can understand.
So how do I grab a hold of this love? How do I come to accept the love of God and let it flow in my soul? Its one thing to say that I want to accept the love- but it’s an entirely different thing to actually do it. I am learning that accepting this love is a process. He gives me as much as I am ready to receive. I have chosen Christ. I am open to him. I have shared my life and I daily invite him to live in my soul. But I found that it doesn’t stop there. He asks for something greater from me. He wants me to love him like he loves me. Am I even capable of this kind of love? After suffering rejection and humiliation by the people he loved, he got up on a cross and died a horrible death so that I may share in eternal life with God. Is it possible for me to return this kind of love? I know that he doesn’t expect me to because altruistic love has no expectations. But I feel him asking me to try it. I think that the more I love, the more love I am able to accept. Sacrifice of one’s self to the other is the birth of this perfect love. I have to sacrifice my humanity. I have to surrender.
To surrender is to give up control. To surrender is to place myself in his hands. To surrender is to make His will my will. Out of love, he gave his life for me so I must surrender my life to him . I must free fall backwards into the arms of God- arms I cannot see with my humanity but whose strength I must trust with my spirit. I must let him take the wheel, let my life be his and allow him to live through me.
Even though I am the biggest control freak on the planet, over time I have managed to surrender some aspects of my life to God. And in each surrender, love flows. Love abundantly flows. It fills my soul and overflows into every aspect of my life. My spirit experiences a joy that words fail to describe- a joy that transcends my daily struggles. So that even though the storm rages all around, as long as my focus is on my Lord, the joy sustains me and the love flows.
Not only do I find joy in the surrender, but I find freedom. When I completely surrender to the Lord, freedom reigns. First, trust drives out fear which allows peace to replace worry. Then love flows more freely and joy overtakes my spirit. I am free to be loved, free to give love and free to live the life God wants me to experience. I am free to do the one thing I am made to do- worship and love my God.