It will take me my life time to get a really good grip on the Greatest thing in the world. I believe that thing is Love. And when I leave this world and go on to the next, I believe that I will be in the arms of Perfect Love which casts out all fear and He will fill me with never-ending Joy. It is a great mystery that I believe we just get a mere taste of here on earth.
My family and I have read an address by Henry Drummond entitled The Greatest Thing in the World numerous times and it is in essence his commentary on 1st Corinthians Chapter 13 known by many people, believers and yet to be believers all over the world as the Love chapter. It is both inspiring and challenging. This year I was able to share some quotes from the transcript with a group of friends.
“To love abundantly is to live abundantly, and to love forever is to live forever. Hence, eternal life is inextricably bound up with love. We want to live forever for the same reason we want to live tomorrow. Why do you want to live tomorrow? It is because there is some one who loves you, and whom you want to see tomorrow, and be with and love back. There is no other reason why we should live on than that we love and are beloved. It is when a man has no one to love him that he commits suicide. So long as he had friends, those who love him and whom he loves, he will live, because to live is to love. . . On the last analysis, then, love is life.” Drummond continues, “No worse fate can befall a man in this world than to live and grow old alone, unloving and unloved.” He goes on to challenge the men he is addressing to read “the chapter” (1Corinthians 13) once a week for three months. Then he says, “It is worth giving time to. No man can become a saint in his sleep; and to fulfill the condition required demands a certain amount of prayer and meditation and time, just as improvement in any direction, bodily or mental, requires preparation and care.”
I could keep going on and on quoting Drummond. I am still loving and being loved. Even during a really dark time not that long ago, I was being loved. Looking back on it makes me believe that God, the Father of Light and Love is bigger than anyone’s darkness and self-hatred because He reached me through mine with His children. Right now, I am struggling with how to love certain people even for the willingness to do so. It is not my perfectionism getting in the way, it is being willing to take time to get to know someone so that I am able to love them in way that they will know that they are indeed being loved. People are complicated and messy, all of us, so grace ought to be our posture toward everyone.
Knowing that I am loved by God is not enough. People can tell other people, “God loves you,” (Can you hear Roma Downey from Touched by an Angel?) but if one does not believe that because he or she does not believe that they are lovable or that people love them, it does not seem believable. The manifestation of the Love of God is experienced through God’s children. Some may say, just show them the words of the Bible, “God so loved the world…” but if those words are not backed up by the demonstration of God’s children to those around them, then they are merely words on a page. (In light of that I do believe that God’s Word is living, active, and more powerful than any other sacred writing.) I believe that the imperatives found in The Good Book are to be lived out by those who believe and have been adopted into the family of God. Jesus said that the world will know we are his disciples by our love for one another. When he said that to the 12 I don’t believe that he meant it just for them but also for those who would come after them.