I came home from work on Friday to find several vases of fresh flowers placed around the living room and kitchen. Sometimes sending your husband to do the grocery shopping has unexpected benefits. I was charmed by his thoughtfulness and the obvious romantic overture and consequently resisted the urge to rearrange the flora to my aesthetic preference.
As I sit here now, within eyesight of two of the vases, I realize that a couple of the Gerber Daises have drooping heads due to the fact that he tossed the green plastic tubes which had been included in the original bunch to keep them straight. The smile that curves my lips at this slight miscalculation is evidence of my love for the man. As far as I’m concerned it really is the thought that counts. At some point I’ll remove the droopy ones, and the rest of the Carnations, Snowdrops, and Lilies will not greatly miss the two casualties.
I once heard a wise woman say, “Rose colored glasses should be worn after the vows, not before.” And I am a firm believer in this philosophy. I find that knowing the man’s heart and trusting his desire make it easy to receive the best in his offerings of kindness and companionship.
As you’ve read in some of my other writings, human love and God’s love are not the same, but I do believe that in its purest demonstration, human love and kindness can open us to the great possibilities of God’s eternal love. In this case, I am suddenly mindful that knowing God’s heart and trusting His desire keep me in a posture of gratitude and humility.
I don’t have to wonder about God’s motives. I don’t have to question His wisdom and execution. I am completely at rest in the goodness of His character. I trust Him. Even when I don’t trust myself, even when doubts may assail, even when I cannot see reason or logic in the unfolding of events, even then I am rooted and grounded in His unfailing love. And on this firm foundation I stand, with the best possible view of His glory. A glory that eclipses my shame, my inadequacies, my failures and my preferences.
To be free from my own preferences is, I think, a freedom that offers escape from temptation: temptation to judge, temptation to withdraw, temptation to gloat, temptation to envy. When we see the definition of God’s love in 1 Corinthians 13, we must agree that His love makes no room for these temptations. Oh, that we would put on these holy glasses and truly see what we’ve been saved from and what we’ve been saved for.
I pray for us, as Paul prays in Ephesians 3:17-19, “…that Christ may dwell in [our] hearts through faith; that [we], being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that [we] may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (NKJV)
This week, dear one, I urge you to ask the Lord to show you any area in your heart where personal preferences have lead you into temptation and possibly stunted your ability to see the love of God at work in your relationships. His desire is toward you, and His great love can overcome even your wayward heart. (1 John 3:20)
Until next week, beloved, let Him take your worst and make it His best.