(A Wrestling Story, Part 2)
He looks over at me for a moment as we are driving to his pottery class and asks me a question.
“Do you know that I love you?”
I was still raw from the digging I’d been doing the night before. I was trying to receive God’s love, but what was love really anyway? And how does one receive it? I know the passage about love in 1 Corinthians. And I know the passage in 1 John too. God is love. He is these things. So how does a person know them? And if I’m having a hard time knowing and receiving God’s love how on earth can I know and receive my husband’s love?
These things flash across my mind.
I shrug saying, “I think so.”
Jason’s unexpected response captures my attention. “Well. That’s good. Because I think that means you’re living in trust.”
We pull into the parking lot of the studio. We say good-bye with a kiss and I begin driving toward the coffee shop, not too far away. All the time, his words echo…you’re living in trust.
What does it mean to live in trust? I wonder.
I suppose trust is what it is to live in relationship, a healthy one anyway.
It is daily living in expectant hope of being present to one another. It is living as though I believe that Jason will be here tomorrow and the next day and all the days after that, until one of us dies. It is living and knowing that no matter how ugly my behavior is—how I snap or how I bare my teeth—he will be here. It is living and knowing my doing the dishes or neglecting them—to go for a walk or to make a crafty mess that is not soon cleaned up—will not keep him from being here. It is believing that he desires and works for my good.
This is trust. And in it I think I catch a glimmer of love that is not based on the way I feel.
So, as I wonder about love, I am able to say with certainty, I do trust him. I trust that he will walk beside me in all things. Somehow, I realize that as I trust, I know I am loved— a love that is beyond feelings. And this love is what my hope is in. Not only that, but I find that I receive this love and it wells up with a response of its own. I return his love—in words and action too.
I think of Corinthians 13:7: “Love always trusts.”
God’s love is so much clearer and longer lasting than a feeling. I trust that in the ugliest moments of my life God loves me. He couldn’t love me more, though he may indeed invite me toward a different way of being than I’m living at the moment. He sent His Son, Jesus, to walk with me. He has walked with me through all things. I live expecting daily to meet Him through His Word. I know His presence in the kind word of encouragement and the big engulfing arms of a friend’s hug. I know it through the unexpected soft whisper of the Holy Spirit and in the gift of His creation when I catch a whiff of fresh cut roses smelling sweet. I live trusting Him.
As I live walking in trust, I put my hope in Him. In doing this, I receive His love.
The cloud of the last day lifts. I feel joy as I realize I am loved.
And I want to live loving back.
"Let us not love with with words or speech but with actions and truth." 1 John 3:18 (NIV)
Grace and peace be ours in abundance as we live trusting God. For when we place our hope in Him we receive his love and it wells up into a response of living love for Him in action.