Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Life's great happiness is to be convinced we are loved

* no means am I saying I am good at this!  It is the hardest thing in the world for me, but when I do make the effort and allow love to enter my heart I am so much happier!

Life is hard and there are so many painful things people go through in this life.  Many are given more than their fair share it seems.  There are so many situations that seem so unfair and can make life so miserable.  Especially those circumstances brought about by other’s choices.

I have been thinking and studying about love so much lately.  Not romantic love, but Christlike love.  The kind that is given in spite of what has happened in the past, or what the other person has done or continues to do.  No matter if another person is unlovable or irritating, or difficult.  Our Savior didn’t just mingle with those who believed him, he purposely went to those who were unbelievers and even those who mocked him, he served them, he forgave them and extended to them his mercy and unconditional love.

In my own life I have seen some pretty incredible people live this principle of love and mercy and forgiveness (because you can’t have unconditional love without those).  I have seen love and forgiveness extended in some seemingly impossible situations.  Death, divorce, abuse, addiction, infidelity and the list of painful circumstances could go on and on.  I have seen love, forgiveness and mercy extended in every single one of those circumstances.  It wasn’t easy for sure; it was the person who had been victimized making a very conscious choice to extend their love.  It didn’t matter if that person who hurt them deserved it because in most cases they didn’t ask for the forgiveness.  It was the softening of the heart of the victim and the putting aside their pride and desire for peace in their own life.  It came from a desire to live like our Savior and lay the burden at His feet instead of harboring it in their heart.  Forgiveness doesn’t just happen, it is an active conscious choice.

The greatest people I know have not only forgiven in their heart but have also been willing to reach out and extend love toward those who hurt them.  It is truly a miracle to watch and can only be brought about by the love of God.  It is only He who can change our hearts and fill our hearts with enough love to see that person as His child.  Many of these amazing people have been refined year after year, difficult circumstances one after another and have chosen to have a soft enough heart to do extend His love. He works miracles in our lives daily, but this may be his greatest miracle in extending to us his mercy so that we are allowed to extend it to others.

I realize not everyone can do this.  I realize in some circumstances it is necessary to distance yourself from that person who hurt you so badly for safety’s sake.  Whether that safety is physical or emotional safety (or both in a lot of cases), it isn’t wise to put yourself or your family in harms way.  However we can fill our hearts with the love of God and by doing so can drive out the bitterness and anger….if we allow it to cleanse us.

(the title of this post is a quote by Victor Hugo from the book Les Miserable)


Kathleen said...

This is beautiful, Cheryl. Sometimes the high road is the difficult one, but usually well worth it. There is a song by Matthew West called "Forgiveness". One line says, "Show me how to see what your mercy sees." A good prayer to help us do those hard things. Great post!

Wendi said...

Beautifully written. Thank you. :)