Faith, Hope and Love…the Greatest of These is Love
I have been battling a health issue for six years. Lately, much progress has been made. I’ve finally received an accurate diagnosis and have been given a promising treatment plan. However, the battle is not over. When the Promised Land is in sight, we still need to fight.
Over the last few weeks, in response to inquiries about how I’ve been feeling, I’ve said, “My body is low but my spirit is high.” Every time I’ve said it, it’s been true. But it’s not the whole truth.
I have questioned God’s goodness, His faithfulness, His love. I didn’t know it, but that’s what I was doing when I doubted His desire to heal me.
This has been a wilderness season. God will bring good out of it, as He is good, and He works all things together for good when we’re on board with Him. However, it is not His will I remain here. Wilderness excursions prepare us for something more, something ahead. They are not an end in themselves. While the experience is not optional, the length of our stay often is. We think we’re waiting on God, when really He’s waiting on us.
A few weeks ago I’d just about lost it. Then a friend called and encouraged me greatly. She spoke truth, remaining strong when I was weak, and because of her love I was able to see and be restored to God’s love. Not yet healed, I was filled with something greater: faith in God’s faithfulness; deep knowledge of His love and goodness. Over the following weeks He has spoken loudly, clearly. I have learned I must remain firmly rooted in the truth of who He is and what He says or the enemy will twist my mind to attribute to God what he is doing. Knowing God’s love is not just a nice thing; it is everything.
We have an enemy who is out to kill, steal and destroy. Sometimes we have to fight. We have to know our value; we have to know our worth. We’ll know who we are when we know Whose we are.
Then came another round of discouragement. I felt dry, done. That’s when my oldest son, standing tall and smiling big said, “Mom, I have something for you.” Handing me a stack of index cards, he told me to read them. I did. I read verse after verse about trusting God. He had gotten out his bible and asked Dad to help him find these verses so I could be encouraged. With bright, hope-filled eyes, he handed them to me, written by his hand, promptly followed by the tightest hug. Again, I knew God’s love. My heart melted, the knot in my belly released, and my tear-filled eyes saw clearly once more.
Over these years I have enjoyed brief windows of relief. They’ve been great. I have always had hope, albeit at varying levels. That’s amazing. But what has impacted me deepest has been God’s love. I recall praying for healing for someone a few years ago. I remember feeling so strongly the love of the Lord for this individual, knowing in that moment that it is His love that heals, that sets us free. There is no greater gift than this: Love. We all walk through our wildernesses, we all seek our Promised Lands, we all ride our roller coasters of faith, and we all must hold onto the Love that sees us through the sanctifying storms and refining fires, as well as the knock-down, drag out fights, always knowing we are walking with and into unlimited Love.
“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love (1 Corinthians 13:13).”