Can We Really Love?

Posted by Steve Nyhof on 29 August 2011 | Add a Comment

Last night as I sat outside on the patio gazing up at the stars, a thought came to me about Love. My first thought was back 25 years ago or so. I believed I understood what love was at the time, but was told that I didn't know what love was. As I look back on this now, I see now that I didn't know or understand love at all. I do understand now what love isn't.

The next thought that came to me was about lawns. We all have seen those lawns that just take your breath away - beautiful! I would like a nice green groomed lawn, but at the moment it has grown out and looking a bit shabby. I do understand that grass grows, I also understand that weeds grow too. When I look at it, even in the moon-light, I don't like the way it looks. So what must I do to enjoy a nice lawn? I must mow and cut away that which does not belong before I can witness a nice groomed lawn.

He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted. Job 5:9 ~ Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty? Job 11-7

I do not need to understand that a nice groomed lawn looks nice, I just know it does. There is nothing in my understanding that can create a beautiful lawn outside of removing what is causing it to look bad. The little bit of light from the moon is exposing the shabby grass and weeds. I can see and understand that! But there is no understanding needed to enjoy a nice lawn - I just enjoy it.For months, as I was spending more time thinking about God and what Love is, the more I was realizing that God nor Love could be understood. And if I do not understand Love, then how do I know I am loving? How do I really love another person if I don't know what Love is?

I also thought about blindness. If I am blind to something I do not understand, how can I understand what I am blind too? What steps must I take to remove the blinders so that I might see and understand? How do I even know I need to take steps if I do not know I am blind?

The more time I spend close to God, the more aware I have become that a Light is shining in me that wasn't there before. Or is it always there and something is hiding it? I remember as I was moving into His Presence every day through Scripture, meditation, reading, etc., that I was afraid because I did not understand what I was coming to know. But something in me was enjoying this far more than the dark pits I found myself in earlier in life. Maybe I don't need to understand.

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18

The Light of God's Love was drawing me closer each day, but at the same time exposing things that didn't belong. I wanted just to forget, to somehow turn off this wrestling in my mind. I was told not to think about it, so I worked hard at putting my focus on God even though I did not understand this. I did find a great joy during this time which I cannot explain, but pain of the past was also present.

It was only last night that I began to understand it is not Love that I seek, but that Love is seeking me. Like a puzzle of sin and unhealthy thinking, a thick dirt which over the years has formed a crest in my life covering the Love that is calling to me from the inside. The Love that is ever Present, call to me.

I don't understand what Love is, but I am beginning to understand what Love isn't

God is softly and tenderly exposing the dark pieces of my heart so that I might lift them from me and lay them down. I can see them now in the Light of His Presence. The deeper I stepped into the darkness, the more restless and distraught I became, the more God called to me to a place of peace and rest. There is no escape!

I once believed that Love is a choice, but now I see that Love is the result of a choice. I must choose to remove the junk in my life that keeps Love from being revealed. Love becomes automatic. It searches me out and lives in my presence.

I do not Love my wife by trying to show love to her, because I can't. Only by laying down the parts of my life that don't belong through confession and small daily choices to take away that which does not belong, does God's Love shine through me and onto and into my wife. God Loves my wife more and more through me as I lay my anger, bitterness, excuses, justifications, expectations, fear, self-pity; all control, etc. down so that Love can be exposed, known and experienced. I do not understand this, but I know it.

I do not need to understand Love or even how to Love others because Love is not mine to give or understand. Instead, I must remove the things in the dark parts of my heart that are keeping the Love of God from being revealed. I do not love my wife, God Loves my wife as I give myself up to God. My wife in turn feels great love from me.

I don't understand what Love is, but I am beginning to know what Love is!

My focus now is to remain in the Presence of God so that He can remove my blindness and expose the darkness I do not even know exists, then I can lay these things down, so that Love and Truth may shine ever more brightly through me.

My son asked if I would watch a movie with him. The movie was good but not one that had appropriate language. However, I stepped past my judgement of the movie and into a place of companionship with my son. What did I just do? Even the things that are righteous between God and I, may be the very thing covering up the Love that is waiting to blossom in my relationship.

This raises a question of righteousness. If God reveals to me that I should not do something, and do it, it is sin. But is it not also sin to enforce my righteousness on another, therefore judging them if it is the very thing keeping Love from building in the relationship?

We know that we all possess knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know. But the man who loves God is known by God. 1 Corinthians 8:1-3

Jesus was surely righteous, yet He took on the sin of the world - He became sin for us. What? Love became sin? That's what I read. Is a new righteousness created so that Love may prevail? Is the knowledge I use for my good, actually used to cause pain to another? How do I know then what is right and wrong? I can know some of what is right and wrong... like thou shalt not kill. But right and wrong in a relationship may be very different from one person to another.

I think I must lay down my life - all of it, the good and the bad for the sake of another. To daily take up my cross. Once I am out of the way, die to self, Love will shed It's Light into the relationship. That Love will then expose anything that doesn't belong between the two, and a new righteousness will prevail. A new right, a new truth.

My job is to remove, cut away that which does not belong. God is then free to do His job and Love me, and through me, Love others.


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