Love Song from China

Every morning at 5 am, I wake up to teach kids in China online. I love my job! I really do! It honestly amazes me the relationships you can build with kids across the world using a pre-planned 25-minute lesson. That’s not the point of this post, though.

Yesterday morning, I entered the classroom a couple minutes early as normal. The student was also already in the classroom. However, we don’t start class until the count-down timer is close to zero. Basically, we both just sit there with our cameras off and watch the timer. Sometimes I can hear the student’s background noise, sometimes I can’t.

This morning I could. He was listening to music. Though I had no idea what the words to the song were (they were in Mandarin), I could tell it was a love song. The tone, the melody, the music arrangement.

We live in two completely different cultures on opposite sides of the world. We speak different languages. We have completely different traditions. Yet, both cultures are in love with the idea of being in love.

All across the world, we, as a human race, literally worship romantic love. Movies. Books. Music. Almost any form of entertainment… it’s all saturated with this idea of romantic love. 

We expect it to complete us. We expect it to make us happy.

And it’s not just part of our culture. It’s part of every culture. It’s part of our DNA.

We long for it. We sense that need for completion.

love song from china

I was telling my husband about this love song from China and my thoughts pertaining to the worship of romantic love. He said, “Isn’t it funny the one thing we are all looking for and expecting out of a relationship is the one thing we were created for… To be in relationship, communion, with our Lord.”

I wish I had more to add. But that pretty much sums it up. We were created to be in relationship with God. But due to the Fall, our desires have become twisted. Sin took everything that was good and tainted it.

Adam and Eve no longer walked with God. Their work became toilsome. Their relationships became infected. Life got hard.

Everything that was once good, now became a struggle with the flesh. Work. Food. Sex. Relationships.

And we feel that. No matter where you are from. You know that something is missing, and you go looking for it in all the wrong places… substances, food, success, relationships, wealth, power…  

But that something is God. There is only one thing that can fill that hole in your heart.

Since walking with Christ, I have said so many times, “I wish I had chased God the way I used to chase boys.”

When I was a teenager and in my early twenties it was like my mission. I needed a boyfriend, or at least a love interest. If I didn’t have one, I spent my weekends looking for one. It was a game. It was fun. It also consumed my life.

I was looking for something that was missing in my life. I was expecting that relationship to complete me.

Then I got married to a wonderful man. But guess what! He is not God. He did not complete me. There was still something missing.

This is probably a large part of the reason our first years of marriage were not a honeymoon. I expected him to fulfill me. I expected him to make me happy. I expected him to be my god.

When we put our faith in people, they will let us down. All people, no matter how good they are, are flawed sinful humans.

But God knew our nature. He knew we would mess up. He knew we needed someone to save us. So, He sent His Son to be the greatest love story ever told. He came down from His throne in Heaven to a world full of sin. He lived as a poor humble human. Preached the Good News of God’s Kingdom. Though He never sinned, took the punishment of death we deserve. But it doesn’t end there. He defeated the enemy. He conquered death by rising from the dead! 

Why? So that we could be part of His Kingdom. So that we could have eternal life! But not just eternal life, we now can bring His Kingdom to Earth! We also now have ability to be in communion with God again- through the Holy Spirit. This is the greatest love story ever told! And it’s true. 

We have to put our faith in God. This is the love story our hearts need. This is the love that will change you and fulfill you.

That sense of completion comes from a relationship with Him!  When God is your number one relationship, you can take all your relationships to Him. He will guide you, lead you, and help you flourish in all areas, including earthly relationships. But He has to be that number one relationship, not just a random thought occasionally throughout your life when things get hard. He alone is the only thing that can satisfy that longing in your heart. Chasing anything else is like chasing the wind.

 

 

Forgotten Love

Last week I had the privilege of watching my last 3rd grade class graduate 8th grade. This class has a very special place in my heart. As the ceremony continued and the speakers spoke of each child, I was reminded just how much I loved them. Memories from five years ago began flooding my mind as I imagined those kids, five year younger, sitting in their desks asking a million questions.

I honestly forgot how much I loved those kids!

For one school year, I poured into them. I taught them the 3rd grade curriculum- reading, grammar, writing, how to multiply, and so on… But it was so much more than that. I helped them with their problems. I helped them communicate issues. I was there to give a hug and smile when I knew they had a bad morning. I stayed up late at night wondering how to reach them. I called them “my kids,” and I loved them just like one of my own.

Then they went to fourth grade, and I chose to stay at home with my kids. Life went on. I am part of a chapter of their lives, just like they are part of a chapter of mine.

But I am so glad I was reminded just how much I love them!

forgotten love

I know this may sound a little silly- but how great is it that our God does not forget how much He loves us! He’s not just there for a season. He’s here for an eternity!

He formed us in our mother’s womb. He knows the number of hairs on your head. He knows the plans He has for you. But because He loves you so much, He will not force them on you. He lets you choose.

The love of our Heavenly Father blows my mind sometimes. I love my kids… But I have a really hard time watching them make a mistake…Like it’s so hard to not correct them… So hard to hold my tongue, and let them just figure it out on their own.

I can only imagine how God must feel as He watches as we wonder.

But oh, the joy He must feel when we make the choice to align our will with His will! Luke 15:10 tells us, “In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

God’s love is beyond words… especially when I compare it to my human understanding of love.

God’s love is unwavering, unconditional, forever and always. The good shepherd. The good Father. Always there- now and forever.

We, too, are called to love. But NOT to love like the rest of the world. The rest of the world sees love a self-fulfilling. The rest of the world chases love like a game. The rest of the world needs relationships to define their purpose.
But what the rest of the world needs is God’s love. You don’t have to chase it; just accept it.

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. (1 John 4: 7-12)

We are on a journey in faith. A journey to grow in love and understanding of our heavenly Father’s love. A journey to share that love with all who have ears. It is quite the journey. But it is full of a never-ending, never-giving up, always and forever love.

I know I do not alway deserve that love. Praise God this is a gift freely given with no strings attached. Love from a Father who simply wants you to love Him back.

Thank you, God, for always loving me! Even when I do not deserve it. Thank you for teaching me the true meaning of the word love. Unconditional. Always. Forever. Help me to share that love with all around me.

“Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures forever.”

Psalm 136:26