As do a lot of teachers, sometimes it fails you, but that doesn't mean it's giving up on you.
If love fails you, it works hard to show you that even when love breaks, you can pick up the pieces and put them together. Putting together the pieces can be exhausting, painful, and time-consuming...but once you figure out the puzzle you can look in the mirror and see how much stronger it has made you.
After this, you have two choices.
1) Stop loving, in fear that you will have to go through the process of picking up more broken pieces.
2) Use your new strength to love even more abundantly.
In case you weren't sure...the answer God wants us to choose is always the second one. This can be a hard choice to make. In order to do this you have to be vulnerable. You have to learn to be a risk taker. But you have to remember...we are CALLED TO LOVE.
"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another." John 13:34
I have been using the past week to really focus on what it means to be called to love. A week ago today I was sitting two feet from the stage at the "Called to Love" tour with Aaron Shust, Jason Gray, and Downhere. Listening to all the artists talk about what it means to love was so convicting for me. Loving is no simple matter. Love means getting out of your comfort zone. It means putting aside your selfishness to love others even when you don't feel up to it. It means loving even when there's always a chance of being let down.
Throughout the week I started to get blind sighted. It was the first week back from spring break and I was tired. Loving was starting to look like more of a challenge. God obviously wasn't done teaching me to love because not long after my realization of my crappy attitude He brought Philippians 1:9 to my attention...
"I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding."
One of those "ok God, I'm listening" moments.
Love is HARD. I never realized it before. I used to think love was easy. But the true test of love is loving when the other person is being hard to love. When your family is driving you crazy...do you shut them out or show them even more love and kindness? When friends don't want to listen...do you give up or keep being a good friend? When that stranger in the other car cuts you off, do you get mad or keep your cool?
It's every day stuff people. God gives us a million chances to exercise our love. Take advantage of every opportunity....love needs all the practice it can get! Making your love stronger takes a lot of work and energy...but it will be worth it in the end. And truth is...you are called by God to love...so we have to keep working at it! Maybe we can't love with the same capacity as God...but hey, who says we can't try?