Friday, February 13, 2015

The Terrifying Heights and Depths of Love

Not too happy about leaving...

These past few months have been a series of new experiences for me. I have experienced a lot of firsts; first boyfriend, first time in Argentina, first view of one of the seven wonders of the world, and first kiss….opps….WAY TOO MUCH INFORMATION!!!!! Besides, we don’t do that, we just hold hands. Anyway, this being my first relationship I am finding new things to worry about. There is a deep fear I know now that I knew very little of before. When I was young I used to have these entertainings of “what if’s” that I would play out in my mind. I would think “What if someone I love dies!?” Now, with a hope of “till death do us part” in view, I face those fears again and multiplied by ten. We often think of this promise carrying us into our old age. He’s supposed to be the one beside me and I by him supporting one another as life comes and goes. So I have these visions of him holding me when my dad dies. Then what? What about when mom dies, or if we loose a child, or the worst fear of all, if he dies and then there is none beside me!? When these thoughts come upon me I realize that it is a dangerous thing to love another. A terrifying, dangerous and paralyzing thing to truly love another. So while more often than not, our fears remain fears and only cost us energy, it raises another question for me; how dangerous is my love for Christ? If this is the fear I have for the man that God placed in my life, what is the fear for The God Man who laid down His life for me? Is there a fear? If love is truly a dangerous thing, and Christ is perfect love, what does it all mean? 

I was reminded of one of my favorite authors who once wrote about a fear using the illustration of a pair of pale green pants. The story is about a little boy who finds a pair of pale green pants with nobody inside them and it frightens him. He runs from the pants until he discovers that there was nothing to be afraid of in the first place (In case you haven’t figured it out, that favorite author is none other than Dr. Seuss). These fears that I have might be nothing more than pale green pants with nobody inside them, there may not be anything to support these fears that I have, but what is more, is there is One who says there is nothing to even be afraid of. There is nothing to be afraid of because Perfect love casts out all fear. So when I was worrying about finding someone to share the rest of my life with, His perfect love was as work. While I am worrying and afraid of loosing the one I hope to spend the rest of my life with, His perfect love is at work. When one of the two of us who are given to other dies, His perfect love will be working. 
...but then we got another day together!

His love is dangerous and terrifying because, His love promises to be there even when the other loves fade, weaken, or die. Whats terrifying is that His love will be enough even when all we want is that hand to hold, the person to hug, or to see our children alive. What is terrifying is that we have to face the pale green pants with nobody inside them, and know that even if there was support for them, even if those pants take on a form and are filled with someone so strong to kick us down, we can face them and be kicked down because He was struck down first for us to offer us eternity. I pray our greatest fears never take form and kick us down, and for those of you for whom they already have, I pray His grace be sufficient for you and His power made perfect in your weakness. Whats terrifying is loving the One who made the universe, trusting that He still holds this fragile world, and our frail flesh in His hands, and trusting that He will bring us safely home. What is terrifying is trusting the life of another to the One Who loved us with His own life. 

1 John 4:18
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.

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