“Active love is a harsh and fearful thing compared with love in dreams. Love in dreams thirsts for immediate action, quickly performed, and with everyone watching. Indeed, it will go as far as the giving of one’s life, provided it does not take long but is soon over, as on stage, and everyone is looking on and praising. Whereas active love is labor and perseverance, and for some people, perhaps, a whole science.” Father Zosima in The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Active love isn’t the stuff of romantic comedies.
It’s not the meet-cute or the perfectly delivered lines or the proposal in front of thousands.
Active love is the boring, steady kind, the behind-the-scenes, humble kind. It’s the husband caring for his chronically ill wife day after day. It’s the exhausted mom, unseen, who gets up once again to comfort a crying child. It’s the pastor, under the microscope and misunderstood, who releases fear of man to God and keeps on serving where he’s been called.
Active love can be a science, which sounds wrong at first, because in our culture, love is defined more by feelings and grand gestures than by a quiet, gritty steadiness.
Active love is the love of Christ, a love that wasn’t just that day at the cross, but was 30 years of obscurity then 3 years of being misunderstood and vilified by those he came to save.
On days where dullness is common and acts of love are unseen, I sometimes romanticize situations in which I would have the chance to do something big, something that matters by worldly standards. In essence, I desire to love others in order to prove that I am significant.
But active love, Christ’s love, is the exact opposite: its focus is on the other’s good regardless of who notices. It’s okay with being misunderstood and unseen because it knows that God’s approval makes man’s pale in comparison. “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
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...all I felt was shame.
Shame at how God has given me so much, yet I still had a perpetual lump in my throat.
Shame that the hopelessness I felt outshouted the hope I had in Christ.
Shame that God had given me so much to live for, yet, on some days, I wanted to die.
If you have felt the same, you are not alone.
And if you have felt the same, remember this:
Faith and feelings are not synonyms... #hope #depression #JesusChrist #Jesus #Christ #psalms #faith #emotions #feelings.
He’s not impatient with our limitations, because he lived them.
He isn’t embarrassed by our tears, because he wept too.
He pleads for us with an intensity that can only come from experiencing firsthand the weaknesses and temptations of those he is defending.
So we can run to him fearlessly, confident that we won’t be turned away and condemned, but embraced and fought for. “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are-yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
#jesus #christ #hebrews #grace #mercy #sympathy #empathy #weakness #hope
For as long as I can remember, writing has been a vehicle for prayer which God has used to bring clarity and truth to a mind that tends to run in circles. With a pen in my hand, I’ve felt the realities of God’s Word penetrate my heart and the struggles I’m facing come into perspective in light of who He is.
When I have been severely depressed, He has led me out of despair and into a fiery hope.
When I’ve been rejected, He has shown me that His acceptance makes man’s pale in comparison.
When I’ve failed to give grace to myself and others, He has overwhelmed me with compassion and a glimpse of how he sees those He has created.
When I’ve been lonely, He has placed me among kindred spirits.
When nothing makes human sense, He reminds me that Christ remains in love and certainty.
Through the ups and downs of this crazy journey following Christ, I always come back to the conviction that whatever the circumstances, there is hope.
He gives hope that transcends human understanding and transcends this life on earth. It’s a hope that will never disappoint us because it is promised by the One who cannot lie. (Rom. 5:5, Heb. 6:18)
Hope is the conclusion, but knowing this doesn’t always comfort in the sharpness of the pain we experience. But knowing that hope is the conclusion, I feel the freedom to wrestle through the difficulties and paradoxes and doubts that we all face as we walk with Jesus.
So I invite you to join me along in this journey of writing through the questions to capture the truth.
If there is a topic or question you would like me to explore, please let me know in the comments or a PM!
Know that I’m praying for you, your journey, and your walk with Him. Much love, Hope #whyiwrite #writing #hope #truth #hopeunyielding #faith #romans5 #Jesus #Christ
Truth from Susie Larson in Fully Alive: “Life in Christ makes us full and free, rich and true. It’s the narcissist turned heir who now serves at the homeless shelter. It’s the former anorexic who can now sit down and enjoy a delicious piece of pie with her family. It’s the former workaholic who comes in the door after work and happily knows how to drop his sword so he can pick up his kids. It’s the once insecure woman who now takes audacious risks on the other side of the world, all for the kingdom.” And in my life:
It’s the once depressed woman now filled with joy.
It’s the former perfectionist who no longer views her Lord as a harsh taskmaster.
It’s the insecure girl being changed into a woman confident in who God made her to be.
I love how Christ takes the parts of us that have kept us afraid, shortsighted, and imprisoned in self and transforms them into their complete opposite, exposing the enemy’s taunts as weak lies that have no hold on us. In Him, we truly are new creations! (2 Cor. 5:17). And a beautiful thing as Christians is that this re-creation in our lives is ongoing; God is always transforming us more and more into the likeness of Christ, giving us new victories over sin and self that strike us with awe at his power to change our hearts.
Through the power of Christ, I stand here today transformed, and if He pulled me from the depths, I know He can and will rescue you too. “The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17
#susielarson #susielarsonquotes #newcreation #2corinthians517 #transformationtuesday