So here's the story: it's 4:30 AM, can't sleep, and I'm thinking...
Why is it that as Christians, we feel that God has to do something radical in our lives for us to re-gain that first love that we had for Him? You know- that passionate, intimate love that we felt when He first saved us from our sins and brought us into His amazing grace? Why don't we ALWAYS love Him passionately for that? Why does the intensity of our worship fade and the flame in our fire get dim?
And then we go to a retreat or a camp or some big shindig and God does something radical and we get all "fired up" again. And then we're "in love with Jesus" and everything is all about Him for the next few weeks. Until the newness fades and life is back to normal and our Bible is sitting dusty on the shelf again.
Let me tell you, if I was only deeply in love with my husband when he did something amazing for me, well, let's just say we probably wouldn't be married anymore. ;o) I am in love with him not because of what he does for me (although those times are special and appreciated). I am in love with him because of WHO HE IS. Because he is loving, kind, funny, sensitive, caring, honest, faithful, and ultimately, because he is the man I've committed my life to and I can't imagine life without him. And because I know sometimes you have to choose to love, even when you don't feel it.
So why is our relationship with God so different? Why do we forget that sometimes we have to choose to love? We may not always feel that intense, deep devotion and love based on circumstances. In those dry seasons in our lives when we feel that God is far away, we have to choose to love. We have to choose to keep our passion alive. Not because of what God does for us, but because of WHO HE IS. Because He is faithful, loving, gracious, merciful, forgiving, compassionate, healing, comforting, and passionately in love with us. We may not always see it in the circumstances around us. But what husband or boyfriend brings you flowers every day? Since when does God have to "woo" us or win our affection constantly?
Maybe He just wants to know that we love Him...just because. Because He is our Savior. Our Father. Our Friend. Just because of WHO HE IS.
I admit, I've done it too. My love has faded in the "in-between" times. But what kind of a commitment is that? Not one that will last.
I challenge you, and myself, to make your commitment to God and to loving Him just as serious as you would a marriage vow. You don't pledge to love a spouse "when they do great things for you and really show you how much they love you." No marriage would last if that were the case. Love is deeper and more committed. Love is selfless and faithful. Love is a CHOICE.
For better or for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health. For all my days, Lord, I will CHOOSE to love you. Because of WHO YOU ARE.