Because I Love You

Why are you looking at me like that?

I caught Charlie looking at me. Actually it was more like gazing. It made me a bit uncomfortable, because he wouldn’t take his eyes off of me. So I asked him why he was looking at me like that?

Because I love you.

Here it is again. The faith of a child. A child looks, gazes at their parent in love. So many times he isn’t listening and when I try to talk to him about the need to be a good listener he doesn’t want to look at me out of shame. When he knows he has done something wrong, he just sobs.  But in this moment he wanted to look at me, and he was looking at me with love. Later that night, he did the same thing. He was watching tv and just turned and looked and me for a while. And when I questioned him, he said the same thing, because I love you.

How many times do we not want to look at our heavenly Father out of being ashamed, overwhelmed, or filled with doubt or fear. It makes me think of when Adam and Eve ate the fruit that God had clearly told them not to. Immediately they felt shame, and tried to hide from God.

A couple of weeks ago my friend asked me how my quiet time was going, and I said terrible. I said that I hadn’t had good quiet time  because I know what God says, I know what His word says.  His word says that in this world we will have trouble. That the road won’t be easy. That life is hard. And that particular week I didn’t want to read that, because I knew life was hard, I was living it.

But what I was also neglecting in my quiet time was His love. I focus on how following Him can be hard, and on how many things I have to accomplish. And when my focus is on that I can feel burdened and tired, and well that can make me want to hide.

The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly. Luke 22:61-62

The word used here for wept is klaio (there is supposed to be a couple of accents in there but I can’t figure out how to add them). It means to mourn, weep, or lament. The word does not refer to crying silently, but instead loudly wailing. In other places in scripture this word is used when someone is deeply grieved. It is a word that is associated with grief and pain because of death and sometimes with a person’s sin (like with the woman who washed the feet of Jesus). And that is how Peter responds to his denial of Jesus.

These are painstaking emotions. I can imagine Peter how felt after Jesus catches his eye, and he remembers what Jesus said to him that very morning.

And I have to wonder if, like Peter, we would regret decisions based on fear instead of faith in the truth of His word. I have to wonder if it bothers us when we live overwhelmed instead of by the power of His love. If it grieves us when we don’t live a life that is honoring to Him. And when we chose our tasks before seeking our strength in Him.

For God So Loved…

My passion is for women to know that they are loved by a beautiful Creator, and that because of that love they would thrive because of Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit. But so often I don’t operate out of that love myself.

Every night before bed I snuggle with Olivia in our comfy chair in her room. She usually ends up playing with my sparkly cross necklace that I always wear. And I tell her that means I love you. A love that was lavished on us in a chosen but painful act of sacrifice.

In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. Ephesians 1:5-8

In reading this passage recently, the word lavished jumped out at me. If I could define it, I would say “given out of love in complete abundance”. There is no question if what He gives is enough. What He lavishes is enough, and it is good, and it is done in love. When someone lavishes love, it is done out of character. When God lavishes, it shows He is God. And He lavished His kindness on us, out of love, by the precious blood of Jesus.

Sacrifice that brought a lavishing of love, kindness, and grace upon grace.

What if remembered that loving sacrifice more often? What if we gazed at Him more?

I want to remember His love, and I want to live an abundant life because of that love. And I want to love Him, and I want to gaze at Him through eyes of love, and if He ever asks me why I am looking at Him, I want to respond because I love you.

The best way to gaze at Him is to be in the Word, it is filled with the truths of His love for us. So let us gaze at Him because we love Him, because He loves us. When we do that, we will be more aware of His love for us, we will live in faith, and in the power of His strength.

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