A good Word.

A good Word.

Convicting, though. Am I right?

I originally wrote this verse out because it’s reference is the same as our wedding date — 4.23, April 23 — to remind me how I should be striving to love my husband…

But today, I was convicted that this is how I should be striving to love my neighbors.

I came home from a run and was stretching. And I could hear our neighbors on the other side of our thin walls. My immediate reaction was to be frustrated and annoyed, wanting some “peace and quiet.” And yet, as I looked to the very thin wall that separates our office from a two-year-old’s bedroom, my eye caught this verse and stopped my resentful thoughts dead in their tracks.

The second greatest command is to love our neighbors {Matthew 22:36-40}. And who are our neighbors if not our actual neighbors?!

Those words pierced my heart — “be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” Here I was wanting my own peace and quiet and yet my heart was nothing but peaceful. And here I am called to find that peace through the bond of peace — through others, my heart for them, my attitude towards them.

As I reflected on just how dark and sinful my heart is, the words from David Crowder’s “Forgiven” played softly through my Sonos speakers. “Forgiven, forgiven, You love me even when I don’t deserve it.”

Oh, what grace, that He loves us even when we don’t deserve it. In fact, so much so that God would send His Son to die for us “while we were still sinners” {Romans 5:8}.

I breathed in and out deeply. I prayed to my God for forgiveness. I breathed out my sinful heart and breathed in His great grace as the song came to an end.

What a God who reaches out to us, even still.

What a God who comes down after us, to this day.

What a God who loves us even as we look up into the eyes of His Son with the very hammer in our hands that nailed Him to the cross. 

But oh, what a God who conquered it all, who defeated death, who overcame the grace that we — mere sinners, mere selfish, wretched, steeped-in-sin sinners — would be able to claim that we are “Forgiven, forgiven; Jesus your blood makes me innocent.” And oh, that we would continue on to sing, “So I will say goodbye to every sin; I am forgiven.”

Be completely humble and gentle. Not partially. Wholly. We love and serve a God who is after our whole hearts. And He has our whole hearts when we serve him and love Him wholeheartedly — as what I’ve been reading in 2 Kings and 1 Chronicles has been reminding me of over and over again.

It’s easy to love those who are easy to love, who are convenient to love. It’s much easier to love my husband, and yet I still don’t always do that well. It’s much more difficult to love those who inconvenience us, who irritate us, who agitate us. And yet….

This is the call to which we are called. This is the call that comes with a promise. And yet, we don’t get the promise if we don’t answer the call. God’s blessings come when we are obedient to Him. God’s healing comes when we are sanctified through His Word.

And so as I pondered this Word, and as I bowed before my Father with a wholly repentant heart, it’s no wonder that the tension I had felt in my back began to dissipate. It’s no wonder that my angst turned to peace.

4.23 was a promise to be answered that God revealed to me — long before Clay and I had chosen a wedding date. And He was faithful to work out the details that this would, in fact, be our very wedding date. And sure enough, He’s still delivering me such promises through this very number. Even still. To this day.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *