“How do you do it? That’s hard.” This is the reaction I usually get when people ask me what I do. When told I’m the full time caregiver for my son, Jon, and I can’t leave my house unless someone replaces me, the common response is, “I couldn’t do it.”
What? Of course you could. That’s your child. You’re telling me you wouldn’t do whatever was necessary to take care of your child? Hard or not?
Whoever said love is easy?
Most songs written about love are suspended in the infatuation phase, the dreamy, it’s all about how it makes me feel beginnings or the, this ain’t working and I’m outa’ here endings. Not too many start in the middle, where follow through, determination, faithfulness and plodding reside.
Love can feel scratchy as a tag in the neck of a new shirt or painful as open heart surgery. Love is often messy. Complicated. Gritty. It’s sacrificial action, not just starry eyed feelings. It’s giving up much of yourself without giving up on another. It’s relinquishing your desires for the well being of someone else, even and especially when you get very little in return.
Sometimes it IS just plain hard.
I took Jon back to the sedation dentist the other day. This guy who ignores me half the time and rarely lets me touch him, hugged me long and hard before he went down and out in that chair. He was afraid. Needed reassurance. He held on tight ’cause when life gets tough and scary, he knows who’s there for him. He knows who loves him, who sacrifices for him, who would do whatever it takes to assure his well being.
Yet, I’m aware of a love far greater than mine could ever be.
For God so loved the world that he gave..(John 3:16). This is how we know what love is, Jesus Christ laid down His life..(1 John 3:16).
Love nailed Jesus to the cross, not people. His painful, bloody, horrific love, went all in.
..he [Jesus] gave up all he had, and took the nature of a servant. He became like a human being and appeared in human likeness. He was humble and walked the path of obedience all the way to death—his death on the cross. Philippians 2:7-8
He didn’t choose the easy way. The comfort and sunshine path. The all-about-me road.
This love was hard as nails, thick as blood and strong as death.
How does 1John 3:16 continue? We too, then ought to lay down our lives for others. Ouch! That’s some tough stuff right there! I can’t produce sacrificial love in my own strength. My selfish humanity rebels against such a thing. I need more of Him. His grace. His transformative power. His love in me, poured out to others.
Be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 5:5
Real love isn’t easy or cheap. It isn’t free. True love costs everything.
The famous 1960’s song proclaimed, “What the world needs now is love, sweet love.”
Yes. It’s still true. But not more of ours. More of His!