Sitting on the beach reading, spending my quiet time with Jesus, late afternoon, sun setting before me, light breeze blowing, sand between my toes is a beautiful place to be. My peace quickly ended when seagulls swarmed around me. I looked up to see not only a lot of birds but teenage boys crushing chips and throwing them in the air. The light breeze was blowing in my direction, chips landing in front of me, more birds transcending.
At that moment I wanted to scream at the kids but chose to pick up my chair and leave. As I bent to place my towel in my beach bag, a significant amount of sand landed on my back and in my hair. I looked up to see two teenage boys, mouths hanging open, and eyes wide. Everything in me wanted to scold them. Yell, “What were you thinking?” They said, “Sorry,” in boyish voices. Loving others is hard!
I left the beach steaming because my beach evening quiet time with Jesus was ruined. On the walk back to our Spring Training rental I felt peace. In the past I would want to fight, yell, defend myself. Now I had peace beyond my understanding. Not because of what I was doing but because of what God has done in me.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another,” John 13:34.
Love of others is not a suggestion. It is a command. We don’t have a choice. We have to love when it’s hard. We have to show love when we don’t like someone or the situation we are experiencing.
We are commanded to love, ‘as I have loved you.’ Jesus loves you no matter what. He loves you when you are unlikable.
When you yell.
When you are mean to others on Social Media.
When you walk away from him.
When you throw chips at birds.
When you throw sand.
HE LOVES YOU!
In this same way, we are commanded to love others through the hard. Loving others when it is hard, transforms our relationships with others.
Ask God to meet you in the place of complicated relationships. Ask Him to deliver you from your fears of being hurt or rubbed the wrong way. Ask Him to draw you closer to Him that you would genuinely know His love so you can pour out that love to others. Ask Him to help you love others the way He has loved you when you have been unlikable. Ask Him to help you expect the best in others, not just seeing their worst.
How do you connect with others in Love when it’s hard to love? What is something you need to work on to get to that place of loving others the way Jesus loves you?