I’m reading this book Every Bitter Thing is Sweet by Sara Hagerty and in the forward of the book Katie Davis says,
“To love is to be vulnerable — Open to love, and then, too, open to disappointment. Too often we try to avoid that scary place where we love so deep, so much, our hearts could break. But without the bitterness we would never appreciate the sweetness.”
I remember a time I let my heart love so deeply that it broke. In a little impoverished village in Haiti, I scooped up into my arms a 3 year old little girl that weighed less than 10 pounds. I remember taking my hand and wiping the sweat off her face as she looked into my eyes. She began to cry and point to the water bottle that was hanging off the side of my backpack. She was thirsty. She was dying of dehydration and there was no clean water for her to drink. Everything within my tummy hurt as I began to get nauseas by what I was seeing. My heart was breaking and as I tried to process it all I couldn’t understand why this beautiful little girl was born into such overwhelming poverty. She was unclothed and I could trace the outline of her bones with my finger. That year had been one of the hardest years of my life and so I decided to take a mission trip to Haiti to just serve and get away. I had built walls to love. I was scared to get back to that deep place again. But in that moment, this beautiful little girl was teaching me what it meant to truly love deeply. I thought I had it figured out but I was far from it. That moment was transformational for me and through that baby girl I was holding I could “feel” the way our Father truly and deeply loves us. True love (loving like Jesus) is loving through the bitterness and hard moments in life and finding its sweetness.
“A satisfied soul loathes the honeycomb, but to a hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.” – Proverbs 27:7
When I read this it struck my heart so deeply. With this being the month of love driven by chocolate candies, stuffed animals and Valentines Day cards, I had to ask myself, what does it truly mean to love deeply — so deep that your heart could break? Are we displaying this type of love in our relationships, friendships, and families? Are we giving this love to the lost? Are we letting this type of love be an example to our children and those who look up to us?
Christ is the MOST beautiful picture of what it means to love deeply. He loved you and I SO much that He shed his own blood on a cross. His love for us drove Him to the greatest pain of all, the greatest heartbreak of all. He went the length of “feeling” so deeply that it cost Him his life. The blood He shed gave us freedom from the sin we live in every single day. Jesus knew that through the cross His heart would break and His vulnerability would leave scars on His hands BUT to Him it was worth us getting to see and experience the greatest LOVE of all.
Maybe you’re single, dating, or even married. Maybe you have some relational scars that have affected every area of your life when it comes to love. Maybe you have lost all hope in what love even is or you wonder if a LOVE that great even exists because of the pain you have experienced in the past. I’ve been there. I’ve doubted. I’ve questioned. But one thing lately I’ve learned is that it begins with me. It begins with not being afraid to love beyond the surface, to love when it doesn’t make sense and to love when the odds are against you. It is choosing to love beyond the arguments, the imperfections, and the heartbreaks. To let love drive every area of your life, in EVERYTHING you say and do. It is a risk-it-all kind of love where you are going to give it all you’ve got regardless of what those around you say. And then it’s in the deepness and the vulnerability that you find the true love of our Father, an unconditional love that knows no bounds. One that comforts and truly satisfies the deepest longings in your heart. When you experience this type of love, He becomes your identity and your hope which transforms every area of your life. Fear and anxiety are replaced with unexplainable joy and peace.
This is the way Jesus wants us to LOVE; just like Him. But it’s not that easy and it may cost you something. There are many stories in the bible where He teaches us how to love. Majority of the time we read those words and leave them on the pages. We don’t live them out because it’s out of our comfort zone. We can’t LOVE like Jesus if we’ve built walls around our hearts where we can’t “feel” with those around us. Opening yourself up to truly feel will cost you your comfort and control. If “LOVE is the greatest” and “LOVE covers all,” opening yourself up to love like Jesus will transform every area of your life. I’m daily learning this type of love. Tear down your walls and transformation is yours.
I dare you to LOVE deeply with me today.