Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. 1 Corinthians 13:8-10
I have had many jobs in my life, but a couple stands out the most. For many years I worked in the Public School System as a Special Education Paraprofessional, the fancy name for Teacher Assistant. I worked with specific students in the classrooms, but I always took time to get to know the other students as well, and they got to know me.
Some of these children came from broken or unstable homes. They didn’t trust people too much. I was in the classroom day in and day out. They could count on me being there, and that seemed to bring them comfort. By the end of the year, we had become buddies, and there was trust there. I would still talk to them as we moved on to different grades and classrooms. They knew I was there if they needed me.
I have had the joy of helping and working in youth ministry over the years at our church. My heart is to get to know people and be a safe place for them. Some had people in their lives that had left or were not very trustworthy. It made some of them struggle to trust as we built a relationship. Things would move forward, and we would make headway, then the pushback would come.
Many of us have been wounded and hurt by those who have left us physically or emotionally. I know for me that has happened at different seasons in my life. When it happens enough, we begin to expect it. We begin to expect it from people, but that also tends to overflow to our relationship with God as well. We expect He will leave or give up on us because we are just too bad or too hard to love.
Our protective coping mechanism usually comes out in the pushback. After experiencing this enough times subconsciously, I know that I would begin thinking that the other person would leave anyway, so I was going to make sure I left first. I had to beat them to it. I couldn’t let them hurt me.
God and I have had this experience too. I have been that child who has had people leave physically or emotionally. I have been the one tossed aside as “not good enough”, or “too far gone”. I have given the pushback and God has been the one who has stayed and taught me what this part of scripture really means.
“Love NEVER fails”
God’s love is unconditional. His love endures forever, and His love never gives up on us. Our Heavenly Father never leaves us. He sticks with us and walks through our toughest battles with us.
I remember when I became pregnant with my oldest son. I was not married at the time and I was alone. Everyone around me either left or basically wrote my life off as a waste.
Not God. He helped me know what to do and He stuck with me through it all. He was my provider and my protector. He was my son’s Father and my husband, and He provided us with an earthly Father for my son and a husband for me. He walked with us through it all.
It was not easy. It has been a hard road at times. There were times when the temptation to give up has been hovering over us like a dark cloud. Yet, His love and presence have stayed.
This “love” that we see in the world is conditional, self-seeking, and can leave at a moment’s notice. So many people have never experienced a love other than that. That truth breaks my heart!
One of my favorite verses in the Bible is: There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because He first loved us. 1 John 4:18-19
God’s love is perfect. We don’t have to fear He will leave us or give up on us. We don’t have to fear that anyone can take it away from us. We don’t have to fear that we are not enough for God to love us.
It has been one of the most freeing truths for me. Because He has loved me this way, I desire to love others this way. I want them to know that God’s love is different than the world’s love. I want them to know that they can trust me, and I will walk with them through the hard things, not just the good stuff.
My heart is for them to know someone is for them and with them, just like God is for and with us. If they see His love in me, they might trust that His love is for real, despite what they see or don’t see around them.
God’s love is eternal, and we get to spend an eternity loving God and being loved by Him. We get to spend eternity with each other, loving one another. That is a beautiful thing! But we don’t have to wait for Heaven for it.
How can we share this beautiful example of love with our families, friends, brothers, and sisters in Christ and with the world around us?
Let’s ask God to give us opportunities to experience His love and to share His love to those around us.
I loved coming alongside those children in the school and the youth group, giving them the love that they may not have been receiving somewhere else. I love when I hear a friend say, “I knew you would be here for me,” knowing it is because I have been able to be consistent and steadfast in their life.
I love when I see someone realize that even with the pushback, God is still there, pursuing and standing by them.
I am forever grateful for God’s unfailing and perfect love. It has saved me and cast out those fears that have hindered me for so long. He is my savior, my redeemer, and my first love forever. I pray He will be yours too! May His love flow through us to those around us, so they know there is a love that is greater and deeper than anything they have ever seen and known in this world.