Love & Courage
© 2020 Cathy White
© 2020 Cathy White

Standing on the mountain top, love echoes its greatest voice, yet, I’ve found that it is in the valley; in the arduous aisles hidden between earth’s boulders is where love speaks its loudest. – TSH

God knowing our imperfections inspired a man named Paul to write a love letter essential for human response; it goes like this:

Love must be sincere
Hate what is evil
Cling to what is good.

Be devoted to one another in love
Honor one another above yourselves
Never lack spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.

Be joyful in hope
patient in affliction
faithful in prayer.

Share with the Lord’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 any evil for evil .

Be careful to do what is right
In the eyes of everyone.

If it possible
As far as it depends on you
Live at peace
with everyone.

Do not take revenge my dear 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.

Romans 12: 9-21

Could this be a love letter for imperfect people about imperfect issues expecting perfection? To me it seems like  a sure vote of God confidence.

In life each of us is guaranteed to encounter heart challenges, I’m not speaking of our physical heart but the interaction of life itself; those that penetrate the heart of one’s spirit.

Yet, somehow God has confidence that we’re capable.

Would you agree that some situations aren’t as easy as some? And that others require more than a just positive mindset and good will? In essence this description means of giving unconditional love. To me that requires faith even in the mildest of conditions, because love given unconditionally and is not really that until it is tested.

…love given unconditionally and is not really that until it is tested.

Closely consider that realities of a  true love life are not the visible mountain top victories , they are hidden journeys through the valley and the victory requires the two working in a surrendered interdependence.

No matter the case whatever the relationship it requires faith in the  ONE who displayed it perfectly, and without ever failing.  I’m  so grateful that  He gives us the second and third chances to get it right.

I can give only what I have faith to receive.

If I receive perfect love … then the reservoir for giving has begun.

Positive thinking & Good will does not & cannot produce love that gives unconditionally, they are not the same.

Aware of Christ’s Passion, my flaws are vividly painted in the sky. It reminds me daily of the needfulness to obtain it but like a one tending the orchard as  he or she grafts the grapevine so Christ’s Passion grafts a new heart into mine.

And what it produces is nothing I can compare to the past nor anything I can do on my own.

And so here is where the great exchange takes place, just like His blood for my sin.

We see our offenders as Christ sees… completely under His blood. We see grace and mercy and love just as He (loved).

The Passion is power, the passion is active, “it is sharper than any to edge sword.” The Passion is stronger than death  and because of that it conquered it and it my friends is as present as the day we live in …so we can say that “Even though I walk through the darkest valley I fear no evil, for you are with me.” If He is with us then it gives all we need to give what is required.

Christ is the perfect example … He is the unchanging template in loving others.

Dear God,

Thank you Lord for personal access to your heart. Today, I am grateful for your perfect  Love, for without it, it would be impossible to have this freedom of loving and giving love as you’ve commanded.

Today I need ability to love in the hard places, areas where the hurt is too raw to touch, places where love is calling and needs me to respond and where in other places it would seem easier just to walk away.

Fill me today. Forgive me today.

Forgive me for the times I’ve banished it, I rejected it, I refused it; & I sought my own way.

In this moment I embrace  the faith to accept your perfect love in my heart and mind and spirit. I do it in order to reflect the same measurement I have of you … so that my yes may be confident response to those in my life.

Your love is AMAZING … It’s reckless.. Just like the song but make my heart new just like grapevine … Your perfect and tender love …It destroys all my fears and will never allow me to be ashamed (because I trusted).

Father, show me how to give both honor to You and respect for myself as I take this journey filled walk of love.

In Jesus’ Name.

Amen.

-TSH  June 2020

It’s only from the source of unconditional love can we learn to respond.

There is NO excuse for physical abuse or endangerment. If this is the case please seek immediate help. Additionally if you are experiencing mental abuse or manipulation where you feel unsafe I  encourage you to seek professional help in your local area. 

You are beautifully and wonderfully made.