So what does love look like? Is it like it often is in a romantic film where the main characters never seem to have anything come into their lives to challenge their perfect relationship? You don't often seem to have shots of them cleaning up when they have a sick child or even just doing the washing up.
I well remember how some of our days with young sick children drove romance out of the window. (I could tell you some stories, but you wouldn't thank me! I'm sure you have some of your own.)
I would suggest love involves some element of sacrifice. Quite an old-fashioned word these days I know, but any relationship where each person is only interested in getting as much out of it for themselves as they can is not likely to be healthy or last long.
I recently visited a friend from church who is unwell only to find others who had had the same idea. We may have been a bit overwhelming for the poor guy I suppose! I realised as I was driving away that this is the second time recently that I have visited someone only to have someone from the church turn up while I was there. From chatting to those we visited I'm aware that it isn't unusual, that support is there from others all the time. As with many churches we also have a meal rota we set into action when people are in need (moving house/unwell/new baby etc) and a Prayer Chain to support in prayer those, "going through it."
I left the recent visit with a real feeling of encouragement; this is the church as it should be. Now don't get me wrong, those who know me will know that my heart's desire is to see the sick healed, rather than visit them in hospital; the addicted set free from their prisons, rather than having to see them living in their addiction, and I strongly believe this is where we are headed (and we have seen a lot already-look at the "Testimonies" section of the website for a few of the many.) But while we storm heaven for breakthrough we should be loving enough to do what we can for those still struggling.
Jesus said, "By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."(John 13:35)
That love is seen in action, Jesus spoke about even just a, "cup of cold water" given in His name resulting in a reward that won't be lost.(Matt 10:42) This comes just after His command that we take up our cross and follow Him, lose our life etc. If love is seen by action, that action will often cost us. Sometimes it's the inconvenience; going out of our way to help someone; stopping in our busy lives for the one; giving a word of encouragement (or prophecy) to someone who needs it, when all we want to do is just put our feet up!
I don't know about you, but sometimes I find my thoughts so full of what I have to do that I fail to notice the need in front of me. I hunger to see God's Kingdom come in power and will pray and work towards that end, but if it means we forget the need to support those who are not seeing their breakthrough moment quite yet, then we have missed the Gospel. Thank you church where you show His love, even when it hurts. We please His heart....and I don't know about you, but for me that's all that matters.
Can I challenge you? Where are you serving just because the need is there and it is a sacrifice?
Let's not "cop out," or burn out but do let's give out.