I am still learning the heights and depths of love. This is an incredibly complicated concept, yet it is simple. I was first married over 35 years ago and learned to love a spouse. I became a Dad over 31 years ago and I learned to love my children. I now have grandchildren and my heart has expanded again. Before I was married and on my own, I loved my parents and siblings. I deeply loved my grandparents and still miss them to this day. I remember friends that I had years back in high school, but time and geography has separated us.
This past week I had the privilege of hanging out with seven of my closest friends from college. We meet every year in late September for a few days of fellowship that we call the GGO (Greater Greek Open – yes it has inside meaning that’s a long story). I call it my goof off trip, because the way I play golf is really an insult to the game of golf and those who really play the sport. We catch up with each other and always pick up right where we left off from last year. These guys were there with me through divorce and cancer and many other times of struggle over the years. I can say for sure that our lives are not free from suffering and pain, but we figure out a way to help one another through it.
I love reading the Word of God each day and letting His Word settle in my heart. The first day of our GGO this year, I awoke in time to read my regular daily reading and I was in 1 John and it is refreshing to hear from the disciple that was very close to Jesus. He was an eye-witness to Jesus’ daily journey here on earth. He saw first-hand how He loved. Check this out….
12 No one has ever seen God. If we love one another, God remains in us and his love is made complete in us. 13 This is how we know that we remain in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and we testify that the Father has sent his Son as the world’s Savior. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God— God remains in him and he in God. 16 And we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. (1 John 4:12-16 CSB)
I’ve read this chapter in 1 John each morning this week and I’m deeply moved by this concept of love. In fact, the last morning of golf, we shared in this passage and we were reminded of what a difference love has made in all our lives. We probably would not know each other except for our paths crossing over 30 years ago at Bible College where the love of God lead us for one reason or another.
As I pack up in the quietness of the morning and prepare to head home to more people I love, my heart is full and so thankful for the blessing of God upon my life. I could die today and I could say I’m a happy man. I am blessed way beyond what I deserve. I’m working hard at cultivating a grateful heart each day that I live that is simply a response to the amazing, relentless love of God.