Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Vision Of Love

Do you ever struggle with bitterness or frustration with others?  This has been an ongoing battle in my own heart as I have dealt with feelings of being wronged, or when I've simply not appreciated the seemingly selfish (and occasionally destructive) antics of others.  Even though I've heard it said, "Love your neighbor as yourself",..."Love conquers all",...and other such verses tons of times, I really think that  it takes a special nudge from the Lord Himself for us to experience what these words actually mean.  How is anybody supposed to follow a doctrine of love that they can't understand?  Sure, it makes sense in our minds, but that sense doesn't just automatically resonate in our spirits like we may wish it would.  Need proof?  Just look at all the so-called "Christians" out there with whom you could carry on any number of conversations at length without hearing the name of Christ mentioned, having prayer offered, or even casually offering up words such as love, faith, hope, or forgiveness.  May I take a moment to admit here that sadly, I have all too often been one of these people?  

I have felt the love of Christ for me, and it has changed my life.  But I honestly never really and truly felt much of a deep sense of his love for everyone else.  Well, maybe for my family, or for sweet little babies or orphaned children.  I've even been known to reach out to others on occasion to share the love of Christ with those in need.   But what about the people whose bad decisions and attitudes personally affect me and my life..have I felt my love for them soaring high above the "challenging" situations they bring to my life?  Not so much.  

Well, let me tell you that when I was laying in bed the other evening, I rose up past this earthly place and into the realm of the Heavenlies.  Was I dreaming?  Maybe.  Yet, as I looked around at the clean, pure surroundings and up as high as I could see, surrounded by a flowing white linen which felt to me like the garment of Christ, I was absolutely smitten in love- even for the people I try in my own strength not to loathe.  In fact, especially for them.   I looked down, where I knew the world was waiting for me to return, and in that moment, I knew that the answer to all the problems I have faced in regards to my dealings with others was right there.  In that one moment where I was so close to the Lord that I actually had a taste of His awesome love for all of mankind, I realized that my pettiness was the only thing that was holding me back. 

I can't say that things have been perfect since, but I will say that dreaming or not, that feeling of all encompassing love was real and has not left my mind or my heart even for one day.  I wish I would have more dreams like this, as I could definitely use some spiritual boosts without having to find the time to make them happen!!  I plan on asking for Him to come and lavish his love for mankind on me more and more, whether it be when I am sleeping or awake.  Ask, and it will be given you, the bible says in Matthew 7:7.  I can't wait to see how God will use me as I grow in this way.  

How has God shown you His awesome love for others and made it real in your life?