Love and Suffering

I was in a reading plan today and I saw this one that asked, “Do you agree with the statement “Deep love allows for deep suffering”? Explain.”

So, I decided to explain.

I completely agree with this statement and have felt it some recently. Basically, the idea is that if you open your heart to love someone truly (whether it is romantic or not) that you can feel just as intense pain because you loved so immensely.

This is absolutely and undeniably true.

But here’s the question: Is it worth it? Is that much pain worth opening your heart at all? Wouldn’t it be better to just crawl in a hole and scowl at everyone that passed by?

C.S. Lewis once wrote:

There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket—safe, dark, motionless, airless—it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.

(From The Four Loves, as found in The Inspirational Writings of C.S. Lewis, 278-279.)

Here lies our conundrum. Either we put our heart and our life out there on our sleeve for others to either hold carefully, or to crush and maim, or, we hide it away “safe” and “secure”, but hard and untouchable. You will never be hurt, but you will also never feel.

Personally, I have chosen, after going through something that is still ripping my heart apart every time I think about it, that it is still worth it. For me, I have a Lord whose heart breaks along with mine and who has felt more pain and suffering than anyone else. I have chosen to give him my heart and accept his love in return. Now, it is his love that pours out from me, it is his heart I give to others, and it is him who protects me when others crush it. So, yes, I am still hurt and that has not left me, in fact, I feel it even more now because of the immense love God has given me and runs through me. I yearn to feel for others as God does for them, and that involves pain and sadness when they are lost.

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. (1 John 4:16)

We love because he first loved us…And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister. (1 John 4:19, 21)

But there is always a brighter side because I have a hope and confidence in His plans.

Be strong and take heart,
all you who hope in the Lord. (Psalm 31:24)

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)

My flesh and my heart fail;
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (Psalm 73:96)

God is amazing. I could not be doing all that I am without him. I would be a pathetic heap on the floor. I am not joking and I am not exaggerating. He makes me strong when it isn’t humanly possible to be so.

“My Grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in [your] weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)

And Lord knows I’m weak.

I guess the main idea(s) of this post is(are) that to open your heart more, you also open your wounds more, but it is worth it. Suffering and pain continue to exist in this world no matter what, but I have hope in my future because of God and without him, I would be a weak shell of a human.

I thank God everyday for his power and strength, and I am sorry for those days when I don’t trust that he’s there to carry me and yet he comes anyway.

Maybe someone will read this, and maybe everyone stopped forever ago because this is so long, but for anyone that made it down here, sorry for the rambling, but maybe it meant something to you. That would be pretty cool. 🙂 Good luck and I pray that you would not be complete until you are complete in Him. God bless.

(If you have any questions or comments, feel free!)

What I Learned From Being Without

Yesterday morning, I had been laying around reading when I realized I hadn’t eaten yet all day and it was already 12:30. Suddenly, I had this feeling as if telling me to continue this-to fast. So, I did. That is, until I felt a pain in my side, scared my mom and Brian, and was told I had to eat something. For a while I was stubborn and refused, but then my mom compromised with me in saying I just had to at least have a smoothie. Finally, I agreed. And though this smoothie did help me not feel sick or pained, it did not satisfy the hunger. In that same way, I learned so much about God. We have this desire, this hunger, for him and his Word built into us. But, being beings of the world, we stuff our lives with random things that make us happy or satisfied or just seem nice. Yet it’s a different feeling that they fill for a moment. Just like the smoothie, it filled a different part of me that never made me feel full, but rather more sick when I drank more and more. These extra things end up at some point making us feel sick if we make them the only thing in our lives. God is the only one that can satisfy that burning desire, that hunger for more. He is the only thing that can give your soul contentment and peace. Just like a real meal would have satisfied me so much more than a sickeningly large cup of blended fruit. God is a four course meal for every moment of every day, free of charge. Don’t settle for the smoothie.

Perfect Love

So, tonight at the Lakes, there were a few songs that stood out to me. They talked about how amazing God’s love is and all it can do if we just let it.
Recently, I’ve had the opportunity to see this thought in motion. When you just surrender whatever your opinion is and realize that God doesn’t care what he said or she said but about their salvation, he can really do some awesome works through you. He can mend holes you thought could never even resemble being fixed. And they wouldn’t…if we were in control.
I thank the Lord it’s him and not me in charge. Nothing would be amazing that way. It’s only God that these miracles can happen and change everything for the better. That’s all God desires, for us to have the best life possible. And that can only happen if we let him take control and have his love pour through us out into our lives.

God is Worth Praising

“By the word of the LORD were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth.” Psalm 33:6

Psalms is full of many ideas, some repeated through a cycle of trial and triumph, and right around then is when David continues to praise the Lord for everything he’s done. But in Psalm 33, David explains exactly why he feels the need to rejoice in the Lord.

“By the breath of his mouth” …how amazing is that? How many of us can create anything beside hot air with your breath? God created the stars and the sky.

He spoke one word and the heavens existed out of nothing. One word.

Personally, I find that well worthy of praise.

But God went beyond even that. After everything was created and formed, he continued to watch over it, even the one creation that disobeyed him: humans. And we continue to spit in his face by telling him that he’s not real or pretending like we’re in charge and just letting him hang around, allowing him to help us out. We should be thankful of everything he does for us daily. He lets us live and breathe, just to get spat at again.

That is what I see as “unfailing love”. (Ps33:5)

Never mind the astonishing sacrifice of his only son that he gave us to come and be ridiculed and then beaten and killed on a cross like a common criminal, the one who did nothing to deserve it but love us.

There are so many miracles and wonderful acts of love that still amaze me that I can’t even begin to list. I don’t understand how people can still deny him, or still try to fit him in their little box, shoved in along whatever else they think he is missing. God is all you need and I hate that it is still so hard to give him everything, even when I know all this. What can I possibly plan that is better than his? Nothing. And that is what I need to realize daily. Lord, lead me and use me. What else do I need?

Movies

So, this is an old short narrative that I wrote a while back (In June 2010) and I still find it interesting 🙂 Let me know what you think!…if there’s anyone out there listening haha 😉

Gwen looked over at her best friend, James, with eyes fuming, but not directed at him. Instead, her hatred was pointed at the movie that had just ended. She stared incredulously at the blank screen as white lettering began to scroll across it. She could not believe the lies that were just spoon fed to her. And even more unbelievable was that she had held her mouth wide open for the lies to be shoveled in one by one.

“These people make fools of themselves and people call it love”, she blurted out. James cocked his head in her direction with one eyebrow raised. She turned her attention to him to further explain herself. “These characters are reproduced every week in a new movie by a different name and the people behind them- the liars- earn thousands of millions of dollars for it. It’s messed up!”

James nodded, understanding her frustration.

Still she continued, “How am I supposed to know that all of her problems were fixed and they lived happily ever after? How do I know that this white knight is the ‘exception’ or the free ticket out of a hellish tangle of dates and won’t just become another ‘guy’ and break her heart like everyone else sooner or later?”

She knew the answer to her own question before she even asked it.

“I guess you can’t,” James tried, “Movies aren’t based out of life.”

“I know, I know…it’s just frustrating! All the lies. Movies tell you that ‘he’ will ‘always be there’, but in real life, when you fall and trip somewhere, odds are a handsome hero is not going to be there. When you feel terrible at school in a class you have no friends in and you leave to ‘go to the bathroom’, facts and experience tell you that you are not going to run into ‘him’ as he holds you tight and tells you everything is fine. Actually, the truth is, that hallway will probably be deserted as will the next and the next. Prince Charming is too busy spreading lies through Hollywood to actually be true.”

James smirked at his friend’s cynicism and yet, he felt a slight stab from her words, being a guy himself. But he couldn’t tell her she was wrong because he knew she had seen this first hand. Still, he couldn’t help but wonder if the movies could be right just once and he could be the one to be there in the right place at the right time. James decided to voice his own, slightly more optimistic, opinion.

“Movies are dreams that every director and audience member wishes could be reality. They’re not saying that it’s real, they’re saying they wish it was,” he concluded, silently agreeing with these wishes. “Come on, let’s get out of here.”

And with that, the two friends left the dark theater that was filled with impossible dreams and trudged back to reality, one with hopes and the other with fears, but both wishing they could stay a little while longer.