4 weeks into notes about my slow personal study on 1 Corinthians 13…a few verses at a time. Different angles, bunches of insights I hadn’t thought about before. Lots of verse references I think the Holy Spirit had timely brought to my intention to think deeply about what I was learning. I few tears when facing some lessons. Plenty of questions. Pages and pages of notes that I would use to type up this post. All gone in a second. I lost it all, deleted inadvertently from my Ipad by my own hand, and with no clue about how to get it back. I would love to say that I felt a natural impulse to just let go quietly and don’t think about it much. After all, I was studying 1 Corinthians 13, the most quoted chapter about love in the bible…and love is PATIENT, isn’t it? Well I hated myself for a few moments to be honest with you. Why was I so s..silly?
My first impulse was just plain discouragement to stop my daily study. After all I had already put a lot of effort into this while battling a very rough morning sickness. That, I thought should give me enough credit, plus I guess after all that study I had already gotten the point of the chapter right? Well, obviously I had not. I've had got ZERO credit. And I guess I needed to experience this little loss to just start getting it. How is that?
Well, the main point about the chapter was TO LOVE. DUHHH!...Do I really even need to spend the time saying it? Yes. That’s one of the main points of the chapter. Yet I wasn’t getting it. I was unconsciously thinking that this chapter was about understanding and writing nicely about love, instead of about actually loving. So basic. Yet, it happens to me and many more so often! especially when we sign up for a bible study that includes discussion. I don’t think the Lord wanted me to go thru this study to say at the end, “I GOT IT”, as much as to say “I AM DOING IT”..Ouchh!
Well, this takes me to the second point, which I promise will be pretty short. After thinking a bit about actually doing the thing..I realized, that for as much as I want to be kind, patient, to not envy, not be proud, not be dishonest with others, not be self-seeking, not be easily angry, not keep record of wrongs, to not delight in evil, but rejoice in truth, to always protect, always trust, always hope, to always persevere…I CAN'T DO IT. This is something that does not flow naturally. My natural tendencies will always lead me exactly the opposite direction. So that’s when I realized, that the only way that I can actually love this way, is to let God do it thru me. Which means that I will have to take another action step to not just theorize about God, but persistently and confidently try to get closer and closer to Him so that He transforms me into that perfect prism that can reflect the multiple colors of his love. I am, and will remain being sadly opaque being apart from Him. Therefore, this is not a matter of duty or willpower, but of inability. To find fulfillment as I learn to relate to others in the way He intended, I need to love Him first and get lost in Him. Get lost so I can be found. Get Lost in Him so I can find and be filled with His love to only then be able to irradiate it. I know this is not an overnight process. It involves a lifetime of constant effort, some standing up after failures, and some frustration before getting accomplishments. But I am relieved when I think that as in many places in the bible, 1 Corinthians 13 is a model which God wants us to strive for, not a list of rules by which to shortchange ourselves.
That’s it. Not a big head, but a big, willing and obedient heart as a goal. The pretty old and beat up line of “Love is a Verb” sinking into my soul, and “The How” I cooperate with God to let that happen. Thanks God for leaving with us the perfect model of this chapter. And because we are saved because of His love and not our own. Let Him take all the credit! Our Dear Jesus…Let us be more like you dear Jesus. Teach us to GET LOST IN YOU, SO THAT WE LOVE LIKE YOU!