Love Never Loses Hope, Heather Portillo

“I love the Lord because he hears my voice and my prayer for mercy. Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath!” Psalms 116:1-2

Why do you love the Lord? Have you ever taken time to ponder that question? What does it mean to love, anyway? The Bible has a lot to say about what love is and what it isn’t. We are to love our neighbor as ourselves. We are to love each other as Christ loved us. We know love is patient, it perseveres and keeps the faith, and love never loses hope.

In the silence of my meditation I sometimes wonder if it isn’t harder to love myself as Christ loved me than it is to love others as Christ loved. Can I be patient with my own failures? Can I persevere through the trials that come with living in a fallen world? Can I remain faithful to the calling God has put on my life and never lose hope that there is a purpose for every situation I face, both good and bad?

When I approach God humbly with a sincere desire to love myself the way I am and to see myself the way He sees me, I become aware of all the reasons I love the Lord. In my lowest moments, in my failures, He bends down to listen. Even if I didn’t stop praying until I took my last breath, He would listen to every word with eagerness to awaken a deep sense of love for me by showing how much He loves the person I am…the person He created me to be.

Father, thank you for loving me unconditionally.  When I’m hard on myself, show me how to give myself grace.  When I am “heaping coals on my own head”, show me how to have mercy for myself.  Lord, show me today how to love myself as you love me.  In Christ’s name, Amen.

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