Cupid Cooling: On Love, Realism, and Hope
I’m very happy there’s no hard and fast rules around someone speaking out on a subject that he or she doesn’t necessarily excel in. That would certainly include the likes of ME… when it comes to the topic of LOVE.
I’m very bad at LOVE in most respects. However, that will not inhibit me from offering some ideas that might be couched as some, “counter-Hallmark, pro-Halleluiah content”.
Buckle Up! This is short and sweet. It’s from my heart—imperfect by many standards, but a heart radically turned from stone to flesh, and preordained God (Ezekiel 11:17-21), by grace, through faith, so that I could never even remotely boast:
“Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to the cross I cling;
Naked, come to Thee for dress;
Helpless look to Thee for grace;
Foul, I to the fountain fly;
Wash me, Savior, or I die.”
This title, term, and the accompanying image just rocked me because I wanted to reach out… to me… to lots of folks… who may have fallen in love… in lust… in like… in lunacy… in lapsing… in whatever state their heart was in, and all of a sudden… or maybe a bit more slowly than that… Things began to cool down. Then what?
Here’s the heart of the matter: If anyone, in (most) every circumstance or state of heart, is, purely by God’s grace, re-born of the spirit they will then have the power (period) from within to get things thawed… rekindled… heated back up… and set ablaze by God, and for one another, and all those in their midst!
That’s what God has done purely by His manifold mercies.
Sure, there are many folks who have had Jesus at the center of their lives since childhood; they have been raised in a great Bible-loving family; they married a Believer; and they have been star-struck, in love like a raging barn fire full of ripe old hay in the summer time! But that’s not as easy to find as it used to be… And even if it were, it’s not like falling off a log either. In any era, it’s an anomaly. But especially in our era. But all’s far from lost! God’s in the re-creation business.
If anyone feels disheartened, disingenuous, disengaged, disillusioned, or desperate while fumbling through the Valentine cards and wondering what sentiment they could pull off while maintaining a thread of integrity, please know that there’s a LOVE from the outside Who can help. His name is Jesus.
Yup, just like you learned in Sunday School… When in doubt, the answer’s always “Jesus”. And, all prosaic aside, IT’S TRUE!
“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
Eternal Life begins as soon as we’re born: And being born-again (John 3:3) assures us that when we have Jesus at the center of our lives, we can, with the Holy Spirit’s initiating help, re-create any form of LOVE in our lives that would glorify God, and bless those in our midst—especially our spouses in marriage, but for those who are not married, the very same thing applies.
Now, I do this so poorly it’s heart-breaking, but I’m NEVER going to stop trying!
Mother Teresa said, “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” The Great Love is (and only is) God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit of the Bible!
And, there are so “small things” ever done… when done in the name of Jesus, God’s incarnate LOVE!
Being real about our life can only be achieved in one way: How we respond to, “Jesus said, Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:28).
“Mind the GAP”: To the degree that any person on the face of the earth embraces this True Truth, and is realistic (about reality), repentant (not remorseful), reliant (in toto) on community of faith, and in service to God’s beleaguered ones… Everything is possible.
The realism about that fact that LOVE can and must evolve as hearts soften, is one of the easiest things to say, and the hardest things to do. But, it can be done. And, of anything in all of life that’s worth trying to do, this is it! It cannot always be done in every relationship.
Moreover, for those who have tried so hard and it didn’t work, please know that the God of the Bible is the only God of “long-suffering-mercy do-overs”: “For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations” (Psalm 100: 5).
“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer” (Romans 12:12).
Please carefully consider… “cupid cooling”, the love of God, realism about evil and the shortcomings of living in a broken world, God’s perfect plan of redemption, and the hope there is for us… in the light of our wisdom, maturity, and faith in Jesus Christ.
NOTE: Realism and Hope might be coupled in such a way as to be the measure of wisdom and maturity. Upon the basis of this, the Bible is clear: All things imperfect can be redeemed!
First, in terms of REALISM, does your faith have a realistic view of the evil that allows you to look evil in the whites of the eye and pronounce evil as evil?
Second in terms of HOPE, does our faith also allow you to respond actively to evil with some genuine (eg, real) hope of countering it, and perhaps even overcoming it in some way?
What say you?
On Valentine’s Day…. Each and every day… May God richly bless your heart in ways only HE can bless it: “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Psalm 51).
With love, faith, and hope in the heart, JohnDoz