How Great a Love
Love…that word that tries to describe one of the deepest needs that humans have. Love is rooted in the very fiber of life. We look for it, we long for it, we go to great lengths to experience it. It is so basic to life that babies fresh from the womb need that bonding love from their mother. They cannot talk, they cannot express, but they crave and require that nurturing love that comes from the mother’s caresses and the warmth of her breast. The baby lying cuddled up under the chin of the mother bonds with her as she bonds with the child. Love is expressed at this elemental moment.
Throughout our lives we look for affirmation, a word of encouragement, a touch of love and approval. Love is the essence of connection. Love connects us to one another. It can run so deep that we experience sympathetic pain, second hand offenses, and even second hand joy as our loved one succeeds. We crave the sincere love, the unfailing love, the laying down your life kind of love. We want to know someone loves us enough to not leave when we fail, not leave when we are angry, upset, depressed. Love is easy in good times. It is tough when life hands us sickness, problems, financial issues.
Sadly, some people never get to know the love that lasts. Some find loss when they are children; parents who do not love or show affection, some having abusive parents, or they experience the loss of parents through some tragedy. Sadly, life can change the fortunes of people through death of a spouse, or some physical issue can radically change life. Some have lost mental capacity, some have lost physical capacity, some start life with life limiting disabilities. These can limit the number of people who will reach out to love them. However, that need for love is resident in every person.
Where does that need for love come from? I believe it comes from God. God is love. It is his nature, his character, his essence. Anything that comes from him has that imprint. The human is particularly imprinted with God’s design and nature. We do not develop a need for love, we are born with it. It is not a conscious decision, it is inherent within us. Yet, we know that the fallen nature of things work against the principles of God, work against his character. Hurt, disappointment, hatred, frustration, all work against what God has intended.
In our whole experience we may come to the place that we become hopeless. We may believe that no one cares. But there is. We can then come face to face with the provision of love God provided. We come to face the one who said, For God so loved… God loved us enough to send his son to show us how much we are loved. He orchestrated the life of Jesus to show his love for us. This love is so intense that it endured the greatest pain and identification with those who suffer. In the midst of despair, we are loved. The climb out of despair is found in reaching for the hand of the one who loves us as we are, messed up, sin filled, hopeless, condemned. When we touch his hand, the flow of his love fills us and we are changed for eternity.
We can never fully plumb the depth of that love, but we can feel it, enjoy it, embrace it.