“As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you: continue in my love.” John 15:9
Lord, it’s not that You don’t love me or anyone else. You do. You say it here and many other places. “I love you just like the Father loves me.” But the problem comes when I or anyone else don’t continue in Your love. The problem is when I don’t abide in You.
You already know, Lord, that this is a problem I’ve experienced. And I suppose someone else thinks they experienced it from me. See, You know, that I was loving someone with the best of what I had in me to give. Actually, I was relying on You to help me love because it was getting tough. It was hard. It was sacrificial. You know more than anyone because many mornings I had to prep myself so deeply with You to have a right heart attitude of love. I was trying. Really. You were helping.
But then it happened a second time. My love wasn’t accepted as love. They wanted something else, some other way. They wanted things that belonged to You and I couldn’t give them that. They wanted things that belonged to others from me, but I couldn’t give them that either. And they didn’t want what I had to give. They wanted more. What I had wasn’t enough.
And I hate it. I don’t know how to fix what is not mine to give. So there’s this broken relationship. There’s this broken fellowship. I mean, it’s really broken. I feel like something is missing inside and I can’t get it back. I feel like I lost something. And I don’t feel like there is anything I can do because my love, and yes, it’s imperfect, was already rejected, big time, on more than one occassion. And even though it’s imperfect, what if it was all of me I could give and maybe more of me than I should have been giving?
But isn’t this what happens with You? God loved You perfectly. He sacrificed more than He should have for us. He sacrificed You. You loved us with as great a love. You sacrificed Yourself for us. And I see Your love in all the little things and the big things. And do I take it for granted? When something doesn’t go my way, do I say, “You don’t really love me, Lord. Or You wouldn’t treat me like this.” I don’t want to.
I want to just want to be with You. In the good, I want to be rejoicing with You. In the bad, when I don’t know what to do, I just want to lean on You. I just want to rest in Your presence. I don’t always have something to say. Sometimes I just need to be quiet and be loved. And maybe it’s just right for me to be quiet and love You in quietness and rest.
Isaiah 30:15 says, “…in returning and rest shall you be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength…” Maybe, love has a lot to do with rest and quietness. Maybe, when we cease our own works and return to You and rest and abide in You, we find our rescue and our healing and our comfort. Maybe, when I stop to be quiet, when I just stop to be still, my confidence ceases to be in me and reverts to You. Maybe when I am weak and quiet and still, I become strong in You. But Isaiah goes on to say, “You would not do this.”
Israel would not return to You and rest. Israel would not stop and be quiet in You. They would not place their confidence in You and in Your way. So they could not experience Your strength. It wasn’t that You weren’t strong. It wasn’t that You weren’t there. It wasn’t that You wouldn’t or couldn’t have won every battle for them without them even lifting a finger. It’s just that they couldn’t recognize You and so they missed You. They chose to recognize other things, but not You. And so they didn’t experience You.
So, someone is missing out on my love. They couldn’t recognize it. And now it’s created such a rift that I don’t know how to fix it myself. There’s a hole in my heart. So, how do You fix it?
I went back to Isaiah. You said they said, “No, we will trust in our horses instead.” (My paraphrase.) But You didn’t quit or give up. You waited. Well, You put tough situations in their life that they would have to deal with on their own, like they “wanted” to. But You did it so You could wait. You were waiting to be gracious unto them and be exalted through them again. You waited so You could have another opportunity to have mercy upon them. You waited, because You are Hope. One day, they would learn and return and come to You in rest and quietness and You would be able to be their Strength.
Lord, waiting is hard for me. You know how much I hurt. You know how much they hurt. But I don’t think they realize that they left You, that they need to return to Your ways and not theirs. I don’t think they realize that they are choosing their strong horse over You. I just want to have fellowship again. I’d like to be able to return over there and bring You with me again in rest and quietness. But I have to wait, even if waiting is long and waiting is hard, even if waiting hurts and is painful.
Because in waiting, You are teaching. In waiting, I am learning and they are learning. Well, we’ll learn something. If we acknowledge You and return to You, we’ll learn what You want us to. And just like with Israel, it’s not just about the land we’re dwelling in. It’s really about who we are dwelling with, who we are dwelling in.
Well, I don’t have any answers. I can’t fix this problem. It’s bigger than me. But I can learn from You. I can learn to wait and abide in You. I can rest in You when I don’t know what to do. I can be confident that You will do the right thing. I can be quiet and stop having to do something. I can just be still, cease from my doing, and know, I mean really know and experience, that You are God. I can experience Your strength.
Lord, teach me to love waiting in and for You and with You. Teach me to love resting in You, abiding in You. Teach me to continually be in You. Teach me to be quiet, to be still in You, or just to know how to be still, and to know You. Be my confidence. Be my strength. And Lord, if I am in the wrong, show me. But either way, may Your waiting yield Your fruit in us and bring healing and wholeness in You.