Thursday, September 21, 2023

Fifteen Hundred Miles and Loving It


Fifteen Hundred Miles Traveling and Loving It


“But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” - Romans 5:8


Love is a verb. It’s not a word to describe an action, it is an action. God’s love toward us is like that. God “shows” His love toward us, not “showed” His love toward us. He’s always loving us! Why? Because we are His.


Jeanie and I just got home from a wonderful, ten days of travel. We went to Baton Rouge first and spent great time with her family. We love them so much and the South Louisiana cuisine is SO good- yes, we ate well. Then we travelled northeast to Nashville to be with our son Eric, his wife Jen and their three kiddos. We had a blast at soccer games, playing games and running in the yard. 


From Branson, south to Baton Rouge, northeast to Nashville, we figured we travelled around fifteen hundred miles. We went around in a great big circle. And it was worth every single mile because we got to be with people we love. Love does that, it goes, and it loves in the going. 


I just read the United Nations report that four thousand people have died across Libya due to the catastrophic flooding. They added that more than nine thousand people are still missing and presumed dead. At some point the numbers overload our brains and the “thousands” do not compute. We understand six teenagers dying in a car wreck and we mourn the loss, but thousands dying is just too much. But the numbers never overwhelm our awesome God. God loves each one of us uniquely. 


As a young teenager, I was at a Young Life Youth meeting my freshman year in high school and my wonderful leader, Tom Wilson, shared with the group, “Did you know that if you’d been the only person alive on planet earth, Jesus still would have died on the cross for your sin? He loves you that much.” What he said pierced my heart. I’d gone to church my whole life but at that moment, I accepted Jesus as my personal Savior. Yes, our loving God loves mankind, but more specifically, He loves each person, individually.


You might ask, “What difference does it make?  He loves everyone and He loves me.”  Somehow when I’m thrown into the pot with everyone else, it’s different than knowing my loving God desires connection with me. He knows us and loves us with such intimacy. God’s love is a verb and if we’ll give Him room, He will fill us with love, joy, compassion and understanding. When life is hard (and it will be), He will be our “Rock and our Fortress, the place we can run to and be safe.” 


May we all rest in the love that God showed but mostly in the love that God is showing. That’s where true peace exists. 


By Eric Joseph Staples ©