Rising in Love

Weekly Sabbath Survey
Rising in Love  —   3-15-2014
Several years ago, I had a very serious problem with a family member.  The hurt this woman caused me and my family was obscenely wide and deep. The  person that I had once loved very much became a betrayer. She had her own  problems, of course, was very unhappy, but her solution was to fix her problem  with decisions that hurt many other people.
I was mature enough in the Lord to know what I felt for her was a  bad thing, but I could not seem to get over it — to fix myself. I  must have felt somehow justified in how I was feeling. In time, she  became despicable to me. All the love and respect I felt for her was  gone, and I was actively disliking her at a very intense level. I  never saw her any more, never spoke with her by phone, as our life paths  necessarily diverged. But the disapproval and disrespect I felt for her was  there just the same.
One night in a ladies meeting I told the group I would be attending a  function soon where I would encounter this woman that I disliked  intensely. I explained the situation briefly and then my feeling towards  her. After a few sentences I stopped talking, looked around the room and  exclaimed, “Oh, good heavens, I hate this person!”  I was kind of laughing  because it seemed so stupid that I had not figured this out before. They  all looked at me kind of odd, not knowing what to say or do, I guess. I  explained to them it was a relief to know what was wrong, and how easy it  would be to fix it. I just had to truly forgive her and then ask the  Lord to forgive me. I asked them to pray that I would have this  straightened out and have a pure heart by the weekend when I would see the  woman. It did seem like a short amount of time to make this long term crooked  way get straight, but I knew God was the One who could get it done. 
The very NEXT DAY, in a devotional book I was reading most every day at the  time, this is what came up . . .
Most of us have fallen in love. And most of us have fallen out of love.  It’s a great feeling while it lasts, but it tends to fade away. The problem is,  real love is not below us. Real love is above us,. If it were below us, we could  ‘fall in love.’ Since real love — God’s love — is above us, we are to  rise in love.
Jesus is love and that is why His is the Resurrection. Because we rise  in love, so we also rise in the Lord. Unlike falling in love, rising in love is  not being swept up in a feeling. Love is above us, above our feelings. It’s when  we have no reason to love, no reason to forgive and we love anyway, then we are  rising in love.
So, choose to love — love those you don’t feel like loving, love those  you are not ‘in love’ with. Love the unloving, the unlovely, and the  unlovable. It’s not like falling in love. For real love doesn’t make you fall –  it lifts you up. And that’s far better.
When I read this, I was home from work and seated in my comfy chair. I read  it through, and by the time I got to the last few lines, the tears were flowing,  yes, pouring. My dogs even came over to check on me and comfort me, knowing that  something was going on. I sobbed and mourned the wrong that was done by this  person and then, the wrong I had done myself. Finally, I felt a total  release. I let the love of GOD flow into that dried up corner of  my spirit until I was fully soaked in and filled up with that love. 
You can probably guess the outcome that weekend. When I went to the  function and we saw each other across the room, she looked a bit  uncertain. I smiled and walked quickly to her and  grabbed her in a big bear hug and said, “How are you doing!  You’re looking  great.”  Her face lit up, and she began to chatter like a magpie, as if we  were two long lost old friends who loved each other dearly, which it seems  was actually the case. This made my heart glad, and God got the victory. I also realized that day that my love for her had not died.  It was a different kind of love now, a different level of expression. It was a  lifting up to love instead of falling into love. And it had everything  to do with forgiveness:  that rickety bridge we all need to  cross from time to time, so it is wise we not do it harm  by refusing to let someone else walk over it.
Godly love in us hangs on with other people. It never  fails. Some other good things may fail, but not love. We have three things  in our lives as Believers that never fail us:  faith, hope and  love. But the greatest of these is love.  (paraphrased from 1  Corinthians 13) 
Charlene Reams Manning
Believer in the Lord Jesus Messiah
Forward  any WSS you feel has merit. (without changes, please)  

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s