Friday, February 14, 2014

love is...

I woke up this morning (to the tune of my daughter talking to herself in her room... at 6:00 am... what!?) & with coffee in hand, opened to Psalm 103 - 104. Once again, I was struck by God's bigness. (Is that a word?) I am praying for some big things right now and it was so refreshing to meditate on how big God is. 

Some glimpses of Psalm 104
Bless the Lord, O My soul! 
O Lord my God, you are very great! 
He makes the clouds his chariot...
He set the earth on its foundations
the waters stood above the mountains
at the sound of your thunder they took to flight 
You make the springs gush forth in the valleys
Beside them the birds of the heavens dwell 
You cause the grass to grow for the livestock
He made the moon to mark the seasons
You make darkness and it is night
Oh Lord, how manifod are your works!
In wisdom you have made them all

and on and on. 

And as I let this play over and over in my head, a small voice inside caught me by surprise. 

"I am bigger than your emotions." 

Hmm. My emotions was not on my prayer list. I opened the Word this morning with a lot of things on my mind this morning, lots of things I needed to remind myself that God was bigger than. 
But my emotions was not one of them. 

So, I started trying to mentally list the things I thought I needed God to be bigger than this morning... situations with different people, unknown circumstances, parenting, yada yada.

And I could not stop hearing "I am bigger than your emotions. And your hormones." 

Haha it was almost audible. And a little funny. I hesitantly put my original list on hold for a minute and started to think about my emotions. 1 Corinthians 13 came to mind. That seemed odd and unrelated, but what the heck. I turned over to 1 Corinthians 13, half reciting that passage I've heard at so many weddings to myself as I flipped the pages... "love is patient, love is kind..." 

And then I read it. 
Did you know this phrase is in there????

"Love is not irritable or resentful." 

WHAT!? I had never heard that translation. I read it again. 

"Love is not irritable or resentful, except when your preggo hormones are raging." 

Bummer. That's not what it said. 
"Love is patient and kind... it is not irritable or resentful." 
As if Paul (the author) was saying, in case you didn't catch the more 'positive' statement (what love IS), I will clarify in the 'negative' (what love is NOT.) 

Well, thank you Paul. If I'm 100% honest, I needed to hear it in the negative. Because I can try to be patient and kind all the live long day, and some days, it just doesn't happen. And the excuses roll in... these days, they are usually they are related to pregnancy, emotions and hormones. (If you haven't picked up on that yet.) 

Now, hear me. Those things are real. I am not dismissing them. 
But love is still patient and kind. 
And it still is not irritable or resentful. 

So, here's the little mental exercise I did: I am not irritable or resentful when_________________ 
[my kid(s) drive me nuts, my spouse forgets something, a big mess is made, no one is napping, i am snowed in, i don't get my way, or whatever your own irritations are.] 

Whatever your thing is - I do not dismiss it and neither does God. Life is full of irritations, big and small. Of ups and downs. Of tragedy and hardship. Regardless of how big or small others might perceive your 'thing' to be, God knows and he cares. 
He says: "Cast your burden on the Lord and He shall sustain you." (Psalm 55:22) "Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God...casting all your cares upon Him, for He cares for you." (1 Peter 5:6-7)

And then, in the midst of those very real things that might tempt you to be irritable or resentful, repeat 10 times while you breathe deeply, love is not irritable or resentful. I am not irritable or resentful. 

Because people in our world need love. Our children, our spouses, our parents, our friends, our neighbors, and our strangers. They need to see it radiating. And not just on Valentine's Day. Tomorrow too. 

So let yourself love. 
Love is patient and kind... not irritable and resentful.