Sure, starting with Jesus on a list of the 31 people/peoples I love is cliche, but I really can’t start anywhere else!
Recently She Reads Truth made me cry [again] with a post that had me feeling all kinds of feels for the people in my life:
“The thing is, life is hard. Not all the time, for sure. There are so many things to give thanks for and to rejoice in, laugh at, and rest in. But there are days and seasons of life that are just flat-out difficult. Devastating. Heartbreaking. Gut-wrenching. You may feel alone and abandoned, overwhelmed and anxious, fearful, stressed, or heavy-hearted. You may feel hopeless.
But God, in His ever-gracious, all-loving, and all-knowing way, gives us each other to do life with. This life is not meant to be lived alone.
Yes, God has given us Himself, which is the greatest gift of all. He’s also given us His Word, which is chock-full of His promises and stories of His faithfulness and character. His Word empowers me, fills me with hope, and gives me strength and courage to face those hard days. He gives us prayer. I know I can cry out to God all day, every day. He is so sweet to us!
But He ALSO gives us friends. Friends who listen, who let us ugly-cry in front of them, and who help us regain perspective. Friends who remind us of truth and hope when we ourselves don’t believe. Friends who pray for us when we’re too weak and give us grace when we fail. Friends who know when we’re sad and hurting, and press in to ask us why. Friends who bring us coffee when we’re having a hard day. Friends who send us a card across the ocean just to let us know we’re loved.
Paul is telling us here to be that friend. Be that friend to your friends, to your family, to people new to your neck of the woods, to people a bit younger than you and a bit older than you. Be that friend to your brothers and sisters in the body of Christ.
Not only is this beautiful, but it fulfills the law of Christ. The law of Christ is not a set of rules, a list of dos and don’ts. It’s not about going to church, or reading your Bible for so many minutes a day. The law of Christ is to love others as He so abundantly loves you. Jesus gets so much delight and glory when we love those around us— when we think of them, serve them tangibly, and get on our knees to pray for them.
Friends, we have been set free to love. To give ourselves. To bear each other’s burdens.
May we do that today.”
-Straight from the ladies of She Reads Truth here: Galatians Day 12
We need people! And our loving God gives them to us. But they come from Him! God knows we need Him, but He also knows we need each other. All the people I’m overwhelmingly thankful for wouldn’t be in my life if God didn’t put them there. Our God loves us fiercely! He is good. He is great. He is gracious. He is glorious. He. Is. Enough. He loves so fiercely that He sent Jesus to do what we could never do – to free us, to put our striving to rest, to be the ultimate and final sacrifice. He loves so fiercely that He sent the Holy Spirit to guide us, convict us, teach us, etc etc etc. AND He loves us so fiercely that He gives us people. People who love us. People who [whom?] we love. People that refine us. People that help us understand the depth of His love for us.
We need people.
We need people because there is healing in confession. (James 5:16)
We need people to sharpen us. (Proverbs 27:17)
We need people to laugh with and cry with and celebrate with and mourn with. (Romand 12:15)
I love how The Message words Romans 12: 9-21.
9-10 Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.
11-13 Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.
14-16 Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath. Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down. Get along with each other; don’t be stuck-up. Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody.
17-19 Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody. Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.”
20-21 Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he’s thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness. Don’t let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good.
WE NEED PEOPLE! And I’m excited to tell you about mine. Stay tuned. 🙂
This is part of my 31 People(s) I Love series. I’ll be writing about 31 people/peoples that I adore! Click here if you would like a list of all the posts in this series.