Love. It’s a word that’s largely overused and severely underdeveloped. We love HGTV. We love weekends. Yet, the ability to genuinely love people often gets lost in the shuffle. In far too many families, love is downright broken. Why? Many times, it’s because love was fragmented in the families before us. The very things we swore we’d never bring into our own families are the very things we end up passing along, aren’t they?
Broken love is a painful thing. It cuts deep. Its scars damage our ability to fully trust again. Most of us have experienced the heartache of someone walking out of our lives that couldn’t return the love we offered. Maybe it was a parent. Perhaps it was a spouse or another relationship that just couldn’t go the distance. We weren’t asking for much. We simply longed to be valued. We yearned to feel cherished. Yet, no matter what we did, no matter what we said, it didn’t change their response. They left without us.
I find myself reflecting on the effects of failed love this time of year. I ache for those who publicly smile yet privately loathe the holidays. Did you know depression spikes to its highest in this season? How can this be? After all, it’s the most wonderful time of the year! Perhaps it’s because the holidays have a way of scraping the scabs and exposing the wounds. We find ourselves bleeding all over again.
Therein lies the irony. Many people feel the most devastating effects of broken love in the very season that celebrates unrelenting, invincible love . . . the Love who came for us and still chooses to go the distance with us.
The magic of Christmas . . . we talk about it, yet all too often we completely miss it. The magic is this – Love came to our rescue. We didn’t have to chase Him. We didn’t have to impress Him. This love came because He couldn’t bear to live without us. He understands our deepest yearnings. He cherishes us like we’ve never been cherished. And get this! This Love came long before we even realized we needed rescuing.
I know, I know, this sounds like a pretty way to package Christmas. Believe me when I tell you it’s the most real part of Christmas. This Love IS Christmas and His name is Jesus.
When I FINALLY allowed this relentless Love to take me in, it utterly and undeniably changed my life! He filled the empty places. He healed the broken places that had been bleeding far too long.
Sure, Christmas has a way of exposing the emptiness and magnifying the brokenness. Yet, it also offers us a much deeper reality. Christmas offers authentic love that refuses to walk away even when we do.
Let me warn you. It makes no sense so don’t bother trying to wrap your mind around it. You can’t! Jesus said, “My Father so loved YOU that He gave His all. He gave up His only son so that His Love could rescue you!” (John 3:16) I told you it was crazy! Our finite minds can’t begin to comprehend this unconditional, measureless, ceaseless love from an Infinite God. But that’s just it! Even though He knew we could never understand, it didn’t stop Him from coming. What’s even crazier, even though He knew we could easily refuse this extravagant love, STILL it didn’t stop Him from coming.
It really doesn’t matter if you believe me or not. In fact, it doesn’t even matter if you believe in Jesus or not. Regardless of what you’ve said or done, NONE OF IT can change the reality that Love came for you. It’s simply a fact! The one thing you must decide is what to do with it. Will you choose to let His Love take you in? Will you decide to let Him fill you and heal you? Will you allow yourself to experience Love that will never walk away? Unconditional Love came for you! It’s time you enjoy the REAL magic of Christmas.
For comments or prayer, contact Dr. Lanier at www.HopeCommunityChurch.tv.