Then one day that girl received a word and that word became her… “everything”.
John 1:1 In the beginning…. was the word, and the word was with God and the word was God.
In this brand new year, as I sit and sip my morning tea to break fast, I think about what is placed before me on My Whole Plate. I am a bit hesitant, due to the fact that I know (because my mother told me so), that the first things you choose to consume in the morning or at the start of your day, if it’s not morning for you, are important because they will be what your body pulls from to get fueled to get going.
So I ask… what do you choose to start off with?
After taking an overdue break from all the spoils of 2018, I want and need what’s good for me to march forward. What does the one that made my day have to say about facing it?
I’m glad to say….
Joshua: 1. 9. Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.
Let this be a reminder for me and you… God is the Maker of all things new and He is there no matter where you have been or what you’re going through! Those are words you can count on.
Today’s topic on the table is aimed at revealing more about what’s good for us in love. I’ve been spending the last few weeks deep under cover and learned, scientifically speaking, most great discoveries start with a question. One of my goals is to get healthy love choices down to a science, which means I must start with a question to get an answer. So, in regards to love; what are you really looking for? I have to admit that in my selfish nature my need for love can be a little demanding… I want it all, and then some. What I mean to say is, in relationship to finding true love for myself, I have an overwhelming need to know more about the God that pursues and loves ME alone. I know that “He so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son…” as it says in John 3:16, and I share what I know about His love because I want the world to know that He has enough love to last an eternity for every one of us. However, there are days when the world has taken it’s toll on me and I am only interested in a love I can call my own. In His sensitive way, He gracefully and immediately responds to my need to help me (and maybe you too) get the message about his true love.
Zechariah 2:8 For thus saith the Lord of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nation’s which spoiled you: for he that touched you touched the apple of his eye.
He’s so sensitive
Have you ever accidentally poked your eye or had something suddenly get in your eye? In one blink of time, something in the eye can change everything. I have experienced both and the effect of each one incites an immediate response. It also affects more than just your sight. When something touches or gets in your eye, no matter how small… even a speck of dust, it’s pretty hard to ignore. It’s like everything in the world cannot move forward until what ever “it” is… is removed.
In Zechariah 2:8 the words “the apple of his eye” help to paint a picture that reveals how sensitive God is toward us. He says “He who touched you, touched the apple of His eye.” Defined, the apple of the eye, used as an anatomical term, refers to the central part of the eye also known as the pupil. This is the most sensitive part of the eye. So, if He regards us as “the apple of His eye” that means there is a heightened level of sensitivity to every little thing that touches us and gets in or on us. Anything He senses that does not belong has an affect and can and will trigger a response. After all, His aim is to protect and defend against anything that spoils us.
Sensitivity makes sense
In my search of the meaning behind the phrase “You are the apple of my eye”, on http://www.theidioms.com/apple-of-eye/ I read that the expression is often used to reference someone cherished above all others or someone or something that is very precious. Suddenly, it all began to make more sense. It should be common knowledge that every action spurs a reaction. A speck of dust floating in the air to the eye is like the impending ripple effect of the dropped pebble into a pond, one touch can create waves of reaction that reach farther and do more than we ever intended it would. This makes it easier to understand why God is so sensitive and has laws and instructions in His word to warn us about every thing that could harm us. Whether you know or not, we are individually cherished and very precious to him and He knows what gets in or on us can impact more than what’s seen with the naked eye; way more than just our vision.
The Vision of Love
Hindsight is 20/20 and God sees beyond that. That’s the naked truth that has been revealed to me about my vision of His love in the past. We have our sight set on love but more often than not, our sight is limited by what is right in front of us and we usually don’t see the whole picture until things are behind us. Frankly, some of us (me included) have a tendency to stay stuck staring at the past, frozen in our faith and hope for love, still trying to figure out how to get what’s blocking our vision behind us. We can control what we focus and feast our eyes upon but we are often overwhelmed and paralyzed by what we cannot see… all that is waiting on the other side. Thank God that He is all knowing and sees what we need at all times. As we search under his cover, He is revealing exactly what’s needed to have a loved life that’s worth living.
Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye.
There it is, plain and simple. He has put some basic things in place to help me live, and you too. His laws are laid out in love. Some things, like whatever has blindsided me or you in love past, can make us lose focus on the love He has already given us. In His love, He reminds us that He is sensitive to everything we need and says for a very precious, true love that will be cherished above all others, we need to be attentive to what he commands first.
Thought 6 of 101 on love:
If you sense that love is demanding, it is…. True love commands a response
Reflecting on my plans on how to best fill the days that fall ahead, my first thought is to plan to start every day off in the best way because at the end of the day, I want to be able to say I made the best choices. Expecting to be at my best all day long is a pretty tall order to fill, but if I follow the good doctor’s orders maybe I can come close.
“An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” You may have heard this said a time or two before. When talking about love, especially the kind we set aside for ourselves, the idea of doing what is healthy every day is novel. In truth, being consistent in making healthy choices for your heart is a real struggle. Naturally, I’m talking about more than just the choices that please the palate.
How do you like them apples?
Choosing what’s good for ourselves in love is a challenge we all face. There are forces that constantly tug to tempt us to take the wrong turn. Exposing the core of the question at hand…our own heart can even be what deceives us to think we are doing what’s best.
Basically, if any past effort to do good turned out rotten in despite of all you sacrificed, you are probably hesitant to put all of your apples into one basket again. Afterall, if you can not keep the bad from happening, why plan to keep trying for good, right? After a heartbreaking experience or two “Not falling for that again” quickly became my reason for making minimal moves toward love. I was playing it smart, so I thought.
At the heart of it all, God knew my area of struggle. I didn’t want to completely trust anyone with my heart again. However, the love He has to offer is not like anything I’ve experienced in the past so…. He had to show me. With much trepidation, I slowly learned my investment is only a waste if my heart’s desire is not lined up with His. He is the one who holds the blueprints for all that is in the works. What about your plans for building upon what’s healthy for you in love?
Wondering where to begin? It starts exactly where you think.
Proverbs: 23. 7. For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.
A Heart to Heart Moment
The noted verse is intended to make one consider the source. When and where we choose to dine matters. Who we are enjoying our meal with can also make a world of difference. However, those should not be given more thought than who is doing the cooking. The one who has prepared these tasteful bites definitely deserves to be considered and I cannot move on to the next course without further clarification. So I’m curious to know, in the wait for what’s good to come….are you in for the long run?
You weren’t thinking of dining and ditching, right? If you intend to make sure you’re taking in more of what’s in store then let’s get straight to the core. When was the last time you checked your heart? What about the heart of others at the table with you? Sometimes we can get so caught up with trying to play it smart that the need to check everyone else’s heart takes precidence and we forget about our own. If you pulled up a second seat, God is checking all of the hearts at this table to get us to answer one question because He wants to see who will admit whether or not they are all in because where you stand determines where He sits.
“Who sits on the throne of your heart?”
If you’ve decided to join me in sup with the king, I have invited him to stay at the table. If you plan to continue to eat and drink here… you must put what you know of love from the past in its place. He aims to take His place and He is second to none.
I’d be lying if I said that I love to wait… But sometimes it’s necessary if you want what’s good. Have you ever tasted something prematurely, like a fruit that wasn’t quite ripe enough yet? Some fruit, we are very familiar with. Sometimes we are so familiar, we have an expectation for it to be good before it really is. It is appealing to the eye because we already know it is pleasing to the palate, and it’s there to be eaten right? To us, what is good is usually the thing we already know we like. However, what we like is not always good for us and likewise, what is good for us, is not always what we like.
Timing can make a world of difference. God knows that often something that we assume could or should be good, we quickly discover is not so good because our timing is off. In the first verse of chapter three in the book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon, in all his wisdom said….
“To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven”
The Uncommonly Good Fruit
having or showing patience in spite of troubles, especially those caused by other people.
In our society today… patience is almost considered a bad word and waiting is not our favorite option on life’s menu. As we become more and more acclimated to the ability to “click here” for instant gratification, our appetite for only what is available in the here and now is increasing by the minute. Basically, the opportunity to learn and teach how to be patient, along with the ability to recognize the benefit of suffering through waiting, is slim to none.
Patience, a.k.a. longsuffering, is not one of my all-time favorite attributes but it is one that I am grateful for. To reiterate what I have heard many say in regards to relationships; patience is key because nothing worth having comes quickly or easily. In other words, all things good should be good enough to wait for. The one who knows this best and also shows it best, is none other than God. He reminds us with our first hand account of how patient he is and always has been with us everyday.
2 Peter 3:9
The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.
How long? God only knows….
The question has rolled off my tongue on more than one occasion… “How long must I wait?”
What I often get in response from those much older and wiser than me is “God only knows….” He knows what I must endure and go through. He knows how much time it will take for x, y and z to be accomplished and in the right order. He knows even how long it will be before I “get it”, meaning it has even taken quite some time for me to get to the point of coming to Him to ask the very question that only He has the answer to.
The point I am trying to make is He knows. So if you’re wondering what the next thought on love is… I will not make you suffer and longer….
Thought #4 of 101:
Love, true love and all the good fruit to come with it takes its time.
So while you wait, remember…. if you’re wondering how long you must continue to suffer… you should patiently seek the answer from the only one who knows when the ripe time will be.
Ok Batman…. are you ready? Do know what’s coming? Are your spidey senses tingling? Do you have the power to see beyond what you see? When it comes to my undercover search for love, I know I wish I did.
Some time ago, me and my teenage son were having, what I thought to be, a trivial DC vs. Marvel conversation when an interesting question came up. The question was: what makes a super hero “super”? In other words… what are the specific characteristics that stand out in one that goes above and beyond that makes them “SUPER”?
A hero, by definition is anyone that saved a life in the natural sense… but to be a superhero there has to be something about their ability to save a life that takes them to a higher level, to something supernatural.
Will the real “SUPER” stand up?
“Superman vs Batman” and the like, is a topic frequently discussed amongst brothers in my house and it can make anyone question the real existence of not so common sense. Realistically speaking though…we all long to catch a glimpse of a hero in action and some of us have a secret desire to be one, but we all have our own image of what one looks like and it doesn’t always line up with what we see out there on a day-to-day basis and especially not with what we see looking back at us in the mirror. Therefore any call to action leaves us searching for Clark Kent or Bruce Wayne at best… which is a waste of time, and with lives to be saved hanging in the balance…there is no time to waste!
My son clarified it for me. Per our discussion, the difference between Superman and Batman is that Superman is not of this world and Batman is. Therefore Superman is more “Super” because the characteristics that equip him to save lives are also not of this world. Batman’s life saving abilities stem from his gadgets, in other words he is a self-made “super”, which is not the same.
In my amazement, as I prepared to face my morning challenge of waking my son up for another super day of ninth grade… I got an epiphany about my daily quest to experience a love that is heavenly and relationships that go above and beyond… what I need to start my day off with, for my benefit and his, is no ordinary fruit. I need the fruit of the spirit!
Wondering what super fruit or fruit of the spirit will be the best for a love that is out of this world? I can guarantee it’s definitely not what you’re expecting or looking for. It’s kind of like a secret weapon.
Galatians 5: 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness and temperance…..
It’s no secret that a super hero will have qualities that are both disguised and uncommonly good. When I think of a superhero or a super love that will save my day, suffering is the last thing that I am hoping to find. However, a true love, just like a true “super” would have the ability to withstand the worst conditions and circumstances… even the conditions that put you in harm’s way or worse, in the face of eminent death.
We’ll take a closer look at this Superfruit but for now the food for this morning thought on love is.
“Love covers a multitude of sins”… is what I had on my mind for the longest time.
“Are you sure?” I asked.” You must not have seen it all yet God.” As if He didn’t know who or what He was working with. It took a while for me to absorb the truth. I just couldn’t see it or grasp it. The idea that all that I did or was in the past being completely finished seemed like it should require so much more. Especially since I still felt quite undone.
Well, if this sounds familiar to you and one of the main thoughts that will often travel across your mind is… “a love that is complete…is something I will probably never see for myself,” then I’d like to clarify something for you, just in case you’re feeling undone about finding love or you are done and lost in your search for it…
God’s love is unlike anything you have seen before and like nothing you’ll ever experience anywhere else. If you are searching for something familiar then you’ll be searching forever. It is unique because it existed without and before you, but was and is always there for you. To further explain: God wanted you and me, before we ever wanted him or anything really. He gave his life so we could be set free, while we continued to reject him. There is nothing more final than His death or more astounding than His resurrection.
God did both so that we could move on and continue on. He died to rid us of what He never wanted us to have, our sin and He rose from the dead, so that we could receive everything He always had for us. Through these two acts, I have been presented with gift of love that withstands all of the hurt and rejection and a hope for love that goes beyond the grave.
His love is so complete that he thought enough of you and me to know we would question just how much he completely wants us… even after He paid the ultimate price.
Have you gained the understanding yet that His love goes above and beyond any and everything. So… even in times when I have doubt in His love because I am uncertain of myself, my ability, my strength, my wisdom, my future….. My hope and faith rests in His word. It says, I can look forward to the end of every day and every tomorrow….
“being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 1:6 (NIV)
The point I am getting to at the end of this night is …. He leaves nothing He loves undone. He finishes everything He starts. He has enough love for His work and creation to keep working until all the “heart” work is done.
I have 101… on my single one-track mind… go figure. To that you may jokingly say “Well, I guess it’s true that those who can’t do teach.” To which I have to snidely reply…
“Can you define ‘doing’ love for me please?”
Of the all the questionable thoughts I have about love, this is the most prominent one. So, if you know, fess up! Many may stake claim on knowing all the ins and outs of making love but yet… all around the world, the multitudes are clueless about how it’s really supposed to be done. All joking aside though, my last few posts on this subject revealed that undercover is where I will go to uncover the truth on love.
At the heart of the issue, what we do in anything is linked directly to what we think on. That which we actively love is connected to what we mentally invest in. Which leads me to the real motivation behind my many questions about love. YOU!
There is a time and reason for every season and you are it. What I mean to say is; of all that I love and savor on my whole plate… what consumes me the most, is that which I long to serve… to you.
You may humbly ask…”Why do you think so much of me?” Well you do have a lot going for you! However, it’s actually His greatness that fuels my love for you, not yours.
God said… “above all have love for one another” but more than just saying it, He shows by example how love is done.
He is the mastermind behind this undercover search and He wants us to discover exactly what’s covered! The obvious, is the second half of the aforementioned verse, but we are searching for the not so obvious.
For God so loved the world… He did what I could have never done. He thought so much of you and I, that He gave the life of His son. When it hit me that Jesus really died to fulfill His father’s will, for the love of my soul, the three words “It is finished” were all I could think of. What was finished were my thoughts of me, myself and I alone.
Thought #1 out of 101:
Love is actively being thoughtful of others.
In thought of you, I reflected on what was originally written and humbly bowed down. I needed to make a change. This post has been edited. In my sinful nature, I selfishly want to uncover the truth about love for me, but His love is for you too. With that in mind, I am longing to hear what you want to discover in this undercover search for love.
I hope you’ll find the next thought on love I share to cover more than a multitude of sins.