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Love Never Fails

February 2012
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Richard Starkey (aka Ringo Starr) composed and sang a song a while ago titled “It Don’t Come Easy” (you can listen to the YouTube video of the song at the end of this post). I’m sure most of us, well maybe all of us, can related to his words:

“It don’t come easy,
You know it don’t come easy.

It don’t come easy,
You know it don’t come easy.

Got to pay your dues if you wanna sing the blues,
And you know it don’t come easy.
You don’t have to shout or leap about,
You can even play them easy.

Forget about the past and all your sorrows,
The future won’t last,
It will soon be over tomorrow.

I don’t ask for much, I only want trust,
And you know it don’t come easy.
And this love of mine keeps growing all the time,
And you know it just ain’t easy.

Open up your heart, let’s come together,
Use a little love
And we will make it work out better.

Got to pay your dues if you wanna sing the blues,
And you know it don’t come easy.
You don’t have to shout or leap about,
You can even play them easy.

Peace, remember peace is how we make it,
Here within your reach
If you’re big enough to take it.

I don’t ask for much, I only want trust,
And you know it don’t come easy.
And this love of mine keeps growing all the time,
And you know it don’t come easy.”

Well, I don’t know where you’re at in your life right now, but for the past three years I’ve been “paying my dues and singing the blues” since my experience in Houston left me unemployed for what seems like now is about to enter the “forever” zone.

I have had a set of circumstances come up in the past week or so that have taken me back to a place I didn’t want to go—not physically, but emotionally. While it was the physical setting that set it off, the emotions involved took me down for several days afterward. It was a place of bittersweet memories, more bitter than sweet. It was a place where bad things happened, and no apology was ever extended. It was a place that eventually lead me to Houston, and by now if you’ve been following my blog posts you know what happened in Houston.

The details are unimportant. I dare say we’ve all been there a time or two. Horrible things happen at the hands of others and they get to go on living their lives but our lives are devastated. No apology is ever given; indeed, those “others” feel justified in what they did that devastated us. It’s a place where “loving your enemies” seems absolutely impossible. It’s a place where grief cries out for justice. And for me, it was a place that lead to even more heartache awaiting in Houston.

I’ve always had a hard time understanding mean people. By “mean” I mean people who are cold and calculating when it comes to dealing with others. I always believed that if you were kind enough or nice enough to people who were mean to the bone that it would eventually warm their hearts. I have tire tracks all over my face from trying to be nice to the few really mean people I’ve run up against in life. To this day I still don’t understand people who apparently have a heart of stone. Perhaps I will never understand totally.

Unfortunately, I’ve landed in the land of “unemployment” where I’ve had to learn a few hard lessons–like how bad our current economy is in finding employment. The biggest lesson–that life is not fair–goes without saying if you’ve been alive for any time at all; however, resident evil (no, not the movie) is very real in our world. And many times evil comes in the form of people with stone cold hearts. They disguise it in any number of ways but the end result is still the same. In fact, many times I think they were blinded by just how stone cold their hearts had become. And in these few cases, once in a while I actually got to see the human side of them when their defenses came down a bit but it never lasted long.

After these past few days I realized that bitterness can lead you down the path to a stone cold heart. As hard as the past several years have been on me, the struggle to make sense of life sometimes just collapses in a puddle of mud. I am reminded that “God’s ways are not our ways” (Isaiah 55:8-9) and that what is actually going on “out there” in the total scheme of things beyond my own small world is huge compared to the mud puddle I find myself in. While the fact that God is capable of connecting “all the dots” and I am not is beyond frustrating at times, it is at that point where I must grab hold of the Anchor of my life in the midst of life’s battles and see beyond the “seeable” to the unseen, where God resides.

“Forget about the past and all your sorrows,
The future won’t last,
It will soon be over tomorrow.”

The Apostle Paul said those words, too, way before Ringo Starr did, who echoes them in his song. As Paul wrote: “Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Phil 3: 13-14). Indeed, the future here on earth won’t last, but we who are Christian should be pressing on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called us heavenward in Christ Jesus. Our future resides in heaven, not here on earth.

One of the more crushing things to come from what I have experienced during these past few years is that I’ve lost trust in people. People disappoint–some intentionally and some unintentionally. Psalm 118:8, the middle verse in the Bible, states: “It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man.” In fact, my “life” verses have always been Prov. 3:5-6: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.” Too many times I have put my trust in man and leaned on my own understanding, and my path became crooked.

“I don’t ask for much, I only want trust,
And you know it don’t come easy.
And this love of mine keeps growing all the time,
And you know it don’t come easy.”

It’s true that love and trust “don’t come easy.” However, the two verses right above Prov. 3:5-6 state: “Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man” (Prov. 3:3-4).

“Let love and faithfulness never leave you” — this is the only way to escape from traveling down the road called bitterness that leads to a stone cold heart. At the first sign of bitterness let us learn to stop it in its tracks. It’s taken me more than a week to recognize it for what it is—a root that leads to evil, to a stone cold heart. And I have repented in sackcloth and ashes.

The Apostle Paul shows us a more excellent way in I Cor. 13:1-8: “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

 “Love never fails . . . .”

Yes, indeed–love never fails . . . and may we always keep that at the forefront of our lives and our actions.

“Open up your heart, let’s come together,
Use a little love
And we will make it work out better.”

YouTube Video: “It Don’t Come Easy” composed and sung by Ringo Starr:

Photo credit here

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2 Comments

  1. heartpeace says:

    ..tire tracks, in a mud puddle, how I can relate my friend. I just tried looking up this NY best seller book that was on the list back in 2005 (I want to say) and please forgive my bad memory, but in this small, paperback book, the author/psychologist talks about dealing with ‘little hitlers’. I’ve never forgotten the positive impact of what I read in that book and if you want me to find it for you I would be glad to..for me it comes down to one’s temperment..i.e. how God has wired us. Some us are wired, to be creative, nuturing, inclusive, friendly (outgoing-sanquine) this is “predominately” and then there’s always a second temperment, 3rd and 4th. Some folks are ‘primarily’ wired for production. These folks focus on ‘the end result’ are ‘goal oriented’ are usually high performers, over achievers, executives, people ‘that get things done’. Then, there’s the ‘dark side’ of our temperments…with Melancholy/Sanquine ppl, that can be “very sensitive”, prone to sadness and reflection. Choleric folks, tend to run over anyone that is standing in front them and their ‘lack’ of sensitivity does not reward them with close relationship with others. They may be ‘rewarded’ with a fat paycheck for all the sales they made, but they’ll be spending a lot nights alone. In living this ‘circle of life’ understanding the make up of Choleric, has helped me get a handle on how to deal with them. I’ve lamented many a time….”Why ME God?” He never answered audibally, but I have surmised that, that He is using my sensitivity to bring awareness to the “steam rollers” and the steam rollers are keeping ‘me in check as well…, hopefully, iron sharpening iron, will help us all craft our relationship skills, and in the process we will become more like Him. It is a challenge to refrain from the road easily taken….the one leading to bitterness…nonetheless, a task we can accomplish, but continuing to repent when our hearts have dipped into that pool. As the past rises up to capture my affection…I must firmly refuse the offer. I must continue to walk in forgiveness.
    Be encouraged that you are not alone in this process and I know you know this…;) Despite having to go through the act of forgivng someone repeatedly, it is still a huge sign of growth and maturity on our part. As God is working on us, He is also working on them! Hugs to you my sister in Christ!

    Like

  2. Sandra says:

    May the Love of our Lord Jesus Christ keep you ever looking heavenward! Amen.

    Like

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