As I sit here writing, I’m recalling conversations I’ve had over the last week with a few friends, each that are walking through something heartbreaking. My heart is aching as I lift them up in prayer; my spirit is grieving for them as they each have lost something so very precious. Each a completely different type of loss, but a great loss all the same. I find myself asking God, “why?“ I could go down the list of how it’s all so unfair, and why is it that all the prayers that have been going up on their behalf, seem to be falling on Holy deaf ears??? Where’s His mercy???
It’s easy to get caught up in the hurt and frustration of painful circumstances, especially for my loved ones. However, when praying on what to write for the topic of love, I’ve been distracted by what seems to be the absence of love in different capacities for my friends. Then God brought John 15:9 to my mind.
“I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love.” John 15:9
Immediately, I felt a wave of nostalgia rush over me. He rewound my memory to a season not long ago, when I was walking through one of my toughest trials, and was so very focused on those circumstances. It was then, while doing my morning devotion, that He provided me with that verse.
I’d spent months up to that point, fixated on my hurt and even the fear of losing a dream that the Lord had promised. Willing for things to restore so I didn’t have to hurt anymore, I allowed this to consume my thoughts. I’d become so focused on the storm and a promise I had envisioned a certain way, and had lost complete sight of the love of the only One Who truly matters more than anyone else. The One who first made the promise and holds my future in His hands. The only One Who loves me completely and unconditionally, without fail.
I wrote that verse repeatedly until it became engrained in my memory and began to take shape in my mind and I developed a rich understanding of the words and the meaning they held. He has loved me, all along, as the Father has loved Him, Jesus, savior of the world. Hello?! Even as I’ve placed Him lower on the totem pole when He belongs at the top, He still loves me as God loves Him. And His reminder? To remain in His love. To remain in the promise He gave me. It was from Him.
An excerpt from my journal that day that He gave me this verse:
~He’s telling me that though I can’t see it from where I’m sitting, things will be restored and be better than I could ever expect, in His timing. Right now I need to trust Him in that and focus on where He has me right now and the blessings and tasks He has before me. I need to stay focused on how much He loves me. He gave me a vision and a promise, so not to worry on it because it’s from Him, so it will come to pass in His time. The perfect time; just clearly not as I’ve imagined, but better. He always does things better than we can dream up. I have to stay in His presence. Remain in His love! Keep my eyes fixed on Him and not get distracted by what I see with my human eyes.~
Fast forward to today, and I can say that things ARE better than I could’ve imagined and He is making good on His promise. But I wouldn’t have seen it had I not redirected my focus back to Him with trust and taken refuge in His unfailing love for me, which can only be found by staying in His presence, and the only way to do that is by staying in His Word.
My heart still hurts for my friends, but my prayer now is that they keep their focus on the One Who loves them as God has loved His only Son. To trust Him even as it seems their promises are slipping through their fingers, that He will do what He has promised; but to remain in His love, no matter what.
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Heather Whidden loves Jesus, is married to her best friend and is mother of 3 blessings. She is a professional photographer and has a heart for ministry. She loves spending time with her family and friends, writing and reading. Time and people are what she values most. You can read more about her here.