To Love - To Life
To love at all is to be vulnerable.
Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness.
But in that casket--safe, dark, motionless, airless--it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable...
The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers...of love is Hell. C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves
Anastasia Elizabeth Wilson entered heaven three years ago this week. She never drew a breath outside her mother's womb.
She was our first grandchild.
It hurt. Dreams were crushed. Hearts shattered. Tears flowed.
To this very day, there's a heartache. If Bunny and I discuss those days, it's in tears. As we talked about it last night, we agreed the events were a sad story, with no joy anywhere within.
But we live on. We love on.
We could do so timidly, like a child venturing out over a frozen lake who knows he shouldn't be doing it at all.
We could do so blindly, like someone who doesn't want to hear the truth and so sticks his fingers into his ears and screams la la la la la at the top of his lungs.
Or we could live each day in love with life, just as it is, with all its hopes and dreams, joys and sorrows.
Why? Or maybe more importantly, how?
Paul writes in Corinithians:
"Go after a life of love as if your life depended on it--because it does. " Cor 14:1 The Message
Life includes the highest of joys and the deepest of heartaches. That's just life. Nothing I've ever experienced was as heartbreaking as the events around Ana's death. But God has shown us His love directly again and again and through many, many people. We are surrounded at New Hope by children, some of who need love so badly they'll beg to be held, or work to catch your attention, or will just sit next to Bunny when she's on the floor teaching, and lay their head on her shoulder.
Friends, to make it through the valley of the shadow of death, you need to know that God is with you, and that there is life on the other side of the valley. Our lives depend on receiving God's love through His Son Jesus and the Spirit's presence with us AND on giving love to others as God has given to us.
Hurts never become happy.
But we can find joy when we live to love.
This devotional is written by David Wilson, pastor of New Hope Baptist church in Valparaiso, FL. If you find you have received this via a forward and would like to receive it regularly, or find you no longer wish to receive it, drop me an email at email@example.com and I'll make the change to the list. If you'd like to know more about New Hope, visit our website at www.newhopevalp.org . May God bless you.