Olivia makes fun of me in the car because every time a new song comes on the radio I say,
"Oh, I love this song!"
"Mom, you love every song."
Well, she's kind-of right.
Songs inspire me. They make me stronger. They help me keep pressing on in a world where lots of things make me want to stop.
When we are in a restaurant and see people we know, I have to go hug them.
I have to say, "hi."
Because, I love people.
They encourage me.
They make me laugh.
They energize me.
When you get to the place in life where you begin to see everything and everyone as a creation of God's,
the natural reaction is love.
It's taken me almost half a century to begin to understand love.
I still have a long way to go.
But, I can say with confidence this morning that if you will allow yourself to do the following things, you will find yourself loving more and being angry less.
First, let go of the parts of life you can't change.
Second, forgive. Holding grudges gets you NO WHERE in life.
Third, be patient with other people. Consider the imperfections of others God's nice way of helping us all feel normal.
Fourth, ask God to fill you up with His love.
Fifth, trust Him with your heartache. I believe He is closest to those who are hurting.
There is such freedom in reaching a place of inner peace in life where you are able to love unconditionally.
Maybe that's part of what it means to have "freedom in Christ."
I'm not a scholar, and I know that some things will not make sense to me until I get to Heaven.
The Bible clearly says that for now we "see through a glass dimly."
But I cling to the promise that "one day I will know as I am fully known," and because of that I am trusting God today for just enough love to live for Him, just enough light to take the next step, just enough laughter to brighten a room, and just enough strength to face the next battle.
One thing I pray, though, is that I will have MORE THAN ENOUGH of what God offers in Romans 15:13,
and this verse has transformed my mind on many different occasions during many difficult seasons.
May the God of Hope fill you with all
joy and peace
so that you may overflow with Hope
by the power of the Holy Spirit.
And this may be the biggest secret to loving the world and everyone in it.
When I overflow with Hope, everything in my life changes.
Nothing here can knock me down.
Nothing here can take away my smile.
Nothing here can keep me in bed discouraged.
Nothing here can keep me upset.
No amount of pain, hurt, grief, disappointment, uncertainty, questioning, or doubt.
I've faced them all on many occasions, but this I know.
God is the God of Hope, and because of Him I am beginning to grasp the meaning of love.