remedy

I flip the blinker on and wait at the stoplight as Adele's voice hums through the speakers. 

When the pain cuts you deep
When the night keeps you from sleeping
Just look and you will see
That I will be your remedy

As the light turns green and I turn left onto the street, I think about how I read once on the internets somewhere that she penned this song as a love letter to her young son. 

When the world seems so cruel
And your heart makes you feel like a fool
I promise you will see
That I will be, I will be your remedy

I'm a big fan of Adele and her music. She's ah-mazing. And it's clear from the song that she not only adores her dear boy, but wants/hopes to be the cure for any difficulties that come his way.

No river is too wide or too deep for me to swim to you
Come whenever I'll be the shelter that won't let the rain come through
Your love, it is my truth
And I will always love you


As a fellow mama, I can relate. 

When my son falls, I'm there to lift him up. When he's sad, I wipe his tears. When he smiles, my heart swells and I smile back. When he's discouraged, I encourage. When he's afraid, I wrap him up in my arms. 

Yes, I do all of those things. 

But I will never be the remedy. 

I could swim oceans for him, but I will never be the cure for his life's troubles, for his fears.
Oh, how I long to always be able to take the hard things away, but I can't. As fierce and loyal and strong as my love is for my boy, it's not perfect or infallible. 

But Jesus. 
HE IS and promises to be the perfect remedy. 
The cure for those fears and failings. 
The healing for the sin-stained heart. 
True comfort, peace, and love. 

For my son. For me. For you. 

When the pain cuts you deep
When the night keeps you from sleeping
Just look and you will see
That I will be your remedy

So as I raise my son, I show him Jesus. I point to Him and to His cross.

As I smooth the covers at bedtime, as I wipe my son's tears from his cheek, as I hold his hand as we cross the street. As I read God's Word to him at bedtime and teach His commands during the daytime. As I sit next to him in the church pew and as I cheer him on at baseball games. As we hug when circumstances knock him to his knees and as we drive down the street singing along to the radio. 

When the pain cuts you deep
When the night keeps you from sleeping
Just look and you will see
That I will be your remedy


“He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” ~1 Peter 2:24

5 Thoughts On Love : Even When It Is Hard

“I can’t finish the book. I’m too upset with the main character. Why does she keep leaving him? I just want to tell her to stop!”

“Keep reading,” she was told. “You won’t be sorry. This story has a great ending.”

The dialog went back and forth with some friends during a book discussion on Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers, set in the 1850s during California’s gold rush. It is a story of rejection, redemption and restoration.

The allegory, based on the book of Hosea from the Bible, relates the timeless story of love between God and man. It reminds us of the deep well within each person that cries out to be filled with unconditional, redeeming love from God and from others.

But the main character is so hard to love. The reader just wants to give up on her. 

It is easy for us to love some people. Others not so much. Does it please God when we just give up? Oh, how we wish, because it would make life so much easier.

But God wants us to love more, to be more like him. We are called to love those who are hard to love. 

... that family member who lets us down
... that person who makes life difficult for us or our child
... that co-worker who treats us poorly
... that spouse who never lives up to expectations

In Luke 6:32, Jesus says “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you?" Jesus goes on to issue this challenge to his followers: “But love your enemies, do good to them” (Luke 6:35).

Jesus has given us the ability to love everyone, even those we think you can’t love.

But how? Do we just put on a smile and make fake conversation until we can make the quickest exit? Scriptural directives call us to a greater love.
 

1.     Pray often (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

Each day, pray for God help to see others through his eyes.

He created each one of us, and it’s His kindness that leads us to repentance. When we start to see people the way God sees people, we begin to treat people the way God treats people.

If you’re really struggling to love one person in particular, commit to praying for him or her every day. It’s nearly impossible to hate someone if we’re constantly asking God to move in that person’s life.
 

2.     Humble yourself (James 4:1-6)

None of us is perfect. We can be hard to love, too. Think of how you would want to be treated in this situation, and treat that person the same way.  

A humble spirit brings us more clarity. It also opens the door to forgiveness, understanding, and opportunities to reflect Jesus.
 

3.     Be still (Psalm 37:7)

When someone offends us, we often want to strike back. Give the situation some time to simmer down. Hold on to that retort and squelch the desire to retaliate. This psalm reminds us not to fret when people succeed in wickedness. 

Wait on the Lord. Trust that he alone gives answers through your patient endurance.
 

4.     Forgive often (Colossians 3:13)

Holding a grudge against someone locks us in a personal prison. Colossians 3:13 is a reminder to bear with the failings of others, and to forgive one another.

A forgiving spirit unlocks the door to greater ability to empathize with those around us.

Remember the un-payable debt Jesus paid for you? Turn around and offer the same grace! You will indeed be free.
 

5.     Set healthy boundaries (Proverbs 13:20)

Jesus was in high demand. He worked day and night. Crowds of people pressed in on him. He had compassion toward everyone, but he also had an inner sanctuary of twelve disciples.

Loving someone doesn’t mean you have to be that person’s best friend. We can love even the most difficult people by being kind, meeting their needs, and showing them respect.

Jesus said people will know we are His followers by the way we love (John 13:35). The ability to forgive anything and love anyone is a uniquely Christian characteristic.

Loving people who don’t love us back can feel thankless at times. But we have a Savior who can relate. Jesus loved us before we knew who He was or wanted a relationship with Him.
 

Which challenging person in your life needs love? How can you show it today?

When you need a little reassurance...

Recently, my five year old daughter had a pretty rough day. After a long morning at school and playing with her brother after lunch, she was tired. Her mood was touch and go for most of the afternoon. We had an altercation... or two.. or three even... that ended in time-outs.

After her daddy came home, I retreated to my bedroom to fold laundry for some much needed peace and quiet. Of course, she found me there. I asked her to join me on the bed and help fold some of the laundry. I asked if she was indeed having a rough day. She said yes. And then, what she said stunned me.

With tears rolling down her cheeks she said, "I'm afraid you don't love me anymore when I'm naughty."

**jaw drop**

Maybe you've experienced this before with one of your little ones. It surely broke my heart in two as I sat there while she looked at me with red eyes and tear stained cheeks. This little one is only five years old and hardly anything to cause worry in her life. But here she was standing before me saying she was worried that she might be so naughty that I wouldn't love her anymore. 

But... I kind of get it. 

I mean. I have bad days. I have really bad days. I have horrible, no good, very bad days. 

Sometimes I am mean to my husband. Sometimes I'm angry at my children. Sometimes I gossip. Sometimes I get unjustly upset about things. Sometimes I hate. Sometimes I don't trust. 

I mean, really, I sin all the time. 

After a particularly tough day, I feel just like my daughter. I feel like I am unloveable. 

Sometimes I need a little reassurance from my heavenly Father that I am lovable and that I am forgivable. So if you are having a rough day, here are a few words from our Father to give you a hand on your shoulder or a reassuring hug in time of need.

 

1 John 3:1, "How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!"
Joel 2:13, "Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love." 
Psalm 6:4, "Turn, O LORD, and deliver me; save me because of your unfailing love."
John 3:!6, "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." 
Romans 8:37-39, "No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ our Lord."