Are you ready, are you ready for love? Yes I am, are you?
I have the words of this Elton John song going around my head,
And our response may be "No, I'm not ready!"
Our experiences of love might be different. You might feel that love is something you need to earn, to be worthy enough for, be well behaved, successful and attractive enough... the list goes on. With every person having a desire for love it can get really messy trying to find love and keep it in this world.
This is whether or not you had a bad upbringing, a messy divorce or a betrayal of friendships - everyone has been effected in some capacity. My College chaplain once said "We have all come from broken homes." And it's true; even within homes that have strong Christian values, we remain a people of brokenness.
Maybe you feel like your past experiences relating to love are holding you back from life in its fullness, that giving or receiving love feels too vulnerable. Maybe the fear of rejection is holding you back from making a deeper connection or that heart break is something you never want to put yourself in a position to feel again, so in order to protect your heart, you don't.
Jesus, who is full of perfect love, became fully human to show us another way. He gave us this gift of grace that changes our direction, because the sting of death no longer has a hold. We now stand in the victory of the risen Christ and are able to see who we were made to be, to experience love that is perfect and casts out all fear (1 John 4:18). Receiving this perfect love helps us to go on this journey of restoration, no matter what has been stolen or broken in us. God is intentional about our freedom, healing and fullness.
Theologian Leonard Hodgson used two words to explain what it means to be born again; 'Possession' and 'communion'. Letting the Holy Spirit have full possession of us and becoming a new creation, (2 Corinthians 5:17) we begin to be inhabited by the presence of God. And we become who we were created to be, having the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16) and knowing our adoption of daughter and sonship in the kingdom of God. (2 Corinthians 6:18). In communion, as we are filled with the Spirit of God we begin to spend quality time with him, knowing his voice, listening and receiving his truth and love.
In the bible it says "God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." Romans 5:5. Just knowing God's love as head knowledge, isn't going to bring much effect, like if I just told you I loved you but didn't show you then it wouldn't count for much, would it?
I felt as I was praying the other day that God is calling us to cry out "Abba, Father", (Romans 8:15) to come to a place of vulnerability, abandoning our ideas of what love looks like. As we run back to the Father and ask him to show us what it means to be loved by him all over again, we see what it means to be His child and to come home into his dwelling place.
God doesn't come from a broken home, He came into this broken world to invite us to belong with him and to show us what was always intended for our lives. He loves you, eagerly desires you and is waiting for you to come home and be loved by Him....