I woke up in the middle of night, facing towards my wife who was fast asleep. Saturday, June 6th made it 4 months to the day, of being married. There are times when it feels like we’ve been married much longer then that. Not in a bad way, we both are sometimes surprised that it’s only been 4 months, but its been an amazing 4 months.
Last night when I woke up and saw my wife comfortably sleeping, I reached over and put my hand on hers. And I got that feeling again…that surreal, amazing feeling that yes, I am actually married and to this amazing woman. As I sat there holding her hand my mind flickered through past years events – memories and images came rushing at me as I began to recall the moment I knew we were going to get married, or the time I did ask her to be wife, and the first time I saw her on our wedding day.
Yesterday at church we took communion. We’ve been going through the book of Romans and this Sunday we were at chapter 14 were our pastor challenged us with this: Our devotion to God is debatable until it can be seen in our love towards others. It’s challenging to always show love and to have a genuine heart of love for others. There are tons of people who are easy to love of coarse, and some, that aren’t so easy. As we began to think about the love of God for us, for all of us, as we prepared for communion, the pastor read from John 13.
It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love…
My mind quickly recalled the events that unfolds in chapter 13…
…Jesus washes His disciples feet
…Jesus tells them He will be betrayed
…Jesus tells Peter that he will deny Him
John, while influenced by God as he writes, is recalling an actual event he witnessed.
I wonder as John wrote, if he too, like I was last night when I woke up, flooded with images and memories of his time with the Lord. Imagine the powerful beauty of experiencing what he writes about in chapter 13, Jesus Christ showing the full extent of His love…
Imagine experiencing that. Imaging reliving that and remembering that.
Shortly after I woke up this morning one of my first thoughts was about remembering God’s great love for me. One of next thoughts was wanting to remember the times where God has shown the extent of His love for me.
First reminder: the Cross. Second reminder: experiencing His grace…and I could continue. I could continue to write and share how I’ve experienced the full extent of God’s love. Sunday morning, someone wanted to be anonymous and sent an envelope up to Melanie and I after church with gift cards to the grocery store we go to. Somehow, we been making it while I’ve been looking for another ministry position. Well not “somehow”…but with “SOMEONE” we’ve been making it.
Romans 14 was a reminder for me of my calling as a follower of Christ to be a man who chooses to communicate the love message of God to others regardless. Regardless. And Jesus primed my love showing pump using someone else’s desire to show us love, regardless of the credit or recognition.
As I laid in my bed last night, holding my wife’s hand as she slept, I was reminded of her deep love for me. Nearly every image and memory I recalled embodied the challenge of Jesus himself: A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. Because of my wife, I know I am loved and I know of the love God has for me. Because of Jesus Christ, I too, know that my devotion to Him will be debated upon by others until it can be seen by them.
I don’t want my wife, or my family, or my friends to debate whether God truly loves them because I myself am not willing to ‘be love’ to them. I desire to love and communicate love towards others regardless of how messy it may be sometimes, and regardless of how many times I have to swallow my own pride. I can’t stop thinking back to the disciple, John, and I think back to Him writing this part of the story. He already knew the outcome. The disciples in John 13 were confused at the time by what Jesus was saying and doing, but the saw the outcome. They saw the full extent of His love and then, John came back to do what he was commanded, and that was to communicate that love message. I bet as he remembered those powerful moments with Jesus He too was overwhelmed by His Saviors desire to serve and love others.
I choose to love others, because He choose to love me. And I have a great example and constant memory in my life, my wife. I go to sleep next to her every night and I wake up next to her every morning. As surreal as it feels sometimes, its such a beautiful picture and powerful example to me to always communicate my love for her that Christ has woven into my heart.