Saturday, January 19, 2013

Love that goes into overtime

"fervent love for one another"
1 Peter 4:8

Do you have anyone in your life that's... well, special?

I recently got together with a couple of friends, and they were discussing loved ones that they struggle with.

Well, that's not really right.  They don't really struggle with these people.  But those loved ones have special needs, and it takes special effort to help them live the best life they can.  And I got to thinking about other people I know who are in similar circumstances.

I have a friend who cares for a diabetic, and a friend with a six-year-old that in terms of physical and mental development is like a two-year-old.  I have two friends raising boys who are high-functioning autistics, and have several friends who have to prepare complicated diets for someone in their family ~ gluten-free, wheat-free, dairy-free, etc.  

These two friends of mine were comparing their responsibilities a little bit.  Then one of them said to the other, "He's lucky to have you."  And I realized that both of these women were truly a blessing in the life of someone who needed them. 

Each of us is important to someone.  Maybe more than one someone.  But I also think that sometimes it's stronger than that.  Sometimes the role that God has us playing in someone's life is a life-changing.  And that can be a lot more work than the average relationship.

Jimmy Durante used to sing, "Make someone happy.  Make just one someone happy, and you will be happy too."  God didn't put it quite that way in the Bible, but it's the truth.   He says over and over again, "Love one another."

But sometimes the kind of love a situation requires goes even farther.  Romans 12:10 says "be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another."  Sometimes a relationship is not 50/50.  There might be a relationship in your life where you are always going to be expected to give more than you get.  Or at least, it might seem that way to you. 

But God doesn't work that way.  He doesn't ask anyone to do more than He did ~ John 15:13 says, "Greater love has no one than this:  than to lay down one's life for his friends."  This doesn't necessarily mean dying for another, as He did.  It also means giving up your rights and desires.  But the impact you make by doing so will go farther in someone's life than you can possibly know.  'Cause that's how God works!

~ "Rejoice and be exceedingly glad,
for great is your reward in heaven"
Matthew 5:12 

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