Where is the love? A great question asked by the philosophers Black Eyed Peas.
A question that was very true in 2003, when we all jammed to that song on the radio, and a question that is still true today.
Every day we read about awful acts of violence, groups rising up against another, people displaced from their homes, it is easy to watch the news and say, where is the love?
And before you write off love as something that this generation forgot about, let me tell you about the love I have found in my life.
Think about the first verse you learned as a kid, or if you are not a Christian, think about the most quoted verse in the Bible.
“For God so LOVED the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
We have forgotten how to love because we have forgotten about God.
1 John 4:8 says “But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”
Only when I have embraced the love God has for me, the love so great that He would send his own Son to die for me, only then can I even begin to truly love someone else.
If you have been reading this blog over the last year, first I’d love to say, thank you. Second, you now have gotten a peek into the relationship of Micaela and I. You have seen and read about the love we have for each other, a love that grows stronger every day.
Well, that love came to a historic moment June 16th, 2016. After watching Micaela pour out her love to a small group of girls at FCA camp for a week, I asked her to marry me.
In the shadow of the Cross, where the ultimate sign of love was poured out, I asked her to be my wife.
I love Micaela for many many reasons. Some are easy to see, she is beautiful, she is confident in who God made her to be, she has a wonderful smile, and a great sense of humor.
But the deeper love comes from what is unseen. Her incredible heart to love others, to put aside her needs for others. Her desire to lead and influence girls to have a relationship with Christ, and know their worth is solely found in Him. Her strong desire to grow to be more like Christ every single day is what I love most about her.
Before we could fall in love with each other, we first had to accept the love that Christ had for us.
Where is the love?
Easy answer, love is found in Christ alone.
Want to find love?
Invite God into your heart. Embrace His love.
How wide and long and high and deep is the Lord’s love for us.
I think I really started to understand this when I was in Haiti on a mission trip with Sooners4Haiti.
As I sat on the beach after experiencing so much love from the Haitian people, I would look out at the waves rolling in. I could see the beginning of the ocean, but I couldn’t see the length, or the depth, or the height of what the ocean amounted to.
It was just like God’s love.
I could see the start of the ocean, but I still could not fathom the capacity of it, just like I cannot fathom the love God truly has for me. I mean I can’t even see the whole body of water that it is compared to, let alone achieve a comprehensive thought as to how a God that would send His Son to grace us with forgiveness could love me unconditionally and immensely.
See God loves us as we are. He knows the mistakes we have already made before we finish them, He knows the mistakes we are making as we are doing them, and he knows the mistakes we haven’t even thought about making.
But get this, He loves us all the same.
It’s crazy isn’t it?
Love isn’t a worldly act; it is an act that is out of this world. That’s why it’s such a beautiful thing to find and be cherished because it is meant to embody someone who is not of this world.
The love of the Haitian people I met was not like that which I was used to. You see, from a worldly standpoint, they did not have that much to be joyful about. They had no Xboxes that they played on for 12 hours or cell phones that sat on all day. They did not have nice, air conditioned, bug-free houses. And they definitely did not have unlimited Chick-fil-a’s on every corner.
Yet I have never seen more joyous people in my life. They gave so much love just because we cared for them. Their love was genuine and real, because they were that much closer to knowing God’s love, not worldly love.
They understand God’s love because they don’t have a million things taking its place.
As of June 16th, I get to look forward to experiencing God’s love in a different way, as a future wife to the love of my life, Mr. Eric Randall. He shows me unconditional love and represents God’s love for me in the most perfect way. He loves me through all my insecurities and mood swings, and he loves me for the mistakes I have made and the mistakes I will make.
He represents every word that the bible describes love as. He is the most patient and kind person I have met. He is not prideful, yet has all the talents of the world that he could be. He never holds anything I have done wrong over me and he defends who I am with all that he is.
One of my favorite things about Eric is that he encourages me for who God made me to be, not who he wants me to be. The reason this is so special to me is because on June 2nd of 2014 I prayed for the exact characteristic in my future husband.
Twelve days later I met Eric at Xtreme Camp, a high school church camp put together by FCA. A few months after we started to date, he encouraged me with those exact words. I might not believe in fate, or in coincidence, but I certainly believe in a God who’s plan is greater than we could even imagine and love is greater than anything we could grasp.
I will get to go before everyone I love, God included, and vow to love him until my last breath and there is nothing more romantic than the act of marriage. Except a relationship with God. He is the relationship we try to personify and because of that, we will strive to embody His love for us.
This last semester I clung to the verses in 1 John 4 to bring me comfort, the following being some of them:
Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. [1 John 8-10]
My favorite part of these verses is the word might. It’s a true testament to what love really is to me. Love is not something that we have earned, and it isn’t even something that is freely given. It is something that we have received because Christ sent His Son to live a perfect life and then die a painful, unfair death to pay the price of sin so we could be forgiven and receive his unconditional love.
Jesus didn’t even die because we would have to follow him; He died simply because He loved us and hoped that we might follow Him.
Just think about that most important thing in your life, and image it being taken away completely, or even put to death, so that someone just might, maybe, possibly, no guarantee, it’s a chance, love you back.
See, love is a state of serving which is why I am so ecstatic to marry Eric because he depicts it so well. He shows me a glimpse of Christ’s love by how he cares for me and even though I know I cannot fathom the true amount, seeing how Eric loves me puts me in a state of awe knowing that our heavenly father could love us even more than Eric’s love for me and my love for him combined.
It honestly brings me to tears knowing that even with my imperfection God still loves me as his own and unconditionally.
Whoever lives in love, lives in God, and God in them.