“May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.”
By God’s grace, my wife and I celebrate 30 years of marriage. I do not mention “God’s grace” glibly as a pastoral platitude but indeed with full hearted thanksgiving as He has blessed us exceedingly.
Above all, I praise our Lord Jesus for directing our hearts again and again to the love of God.
We look back with wonderment and awe of how the steadfast love of our covenant-keeping God empowers us keep our human covenants through thick and thin.
In life, we sadly cannot distinguish between “can’t love” and “won’t love” to great harm to our relationships.
Some of us may have read of Johanna Watkins of the US who suffers from an acute form of Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS).
Her immune system has gone haywire and turned against herself. The BBC report actually carried her story with this grabbing headline: “I am allergic to my husband.”
Many of us going through tough marriages may light-heartedly wish for the same response to our spouses but Johanna’s illness is no laughing matter.
She loves to be with her husband but can’t because his very presence brings about a life-threatening allergic reaction.
It’s achingly painful when we “can’t love” the ones we are supposed to love because of a God-given illness or circumstance.
On the other hand, we read of the former Miss Malaysia who has finished a protracted court case against her millionaire husband.
It’s destructively painful when we won’t love because of our self-willed decisions and actions.
Which describes your heart and home as the year begins: “Can’t love” or “won’t love”?
It’s been a month since we ushered in the new year. And for millions of Chinese folk around the globe, we have ushered in the Lunar new year, which is the year of the rooster according to the Chinese almanac.
Most of us expect there will be nothing much to crow about this Rooster year.
On the global stage, our world is fraught with uncertainty as President Trump goes from shocking rhetoric to shocking reality with directive after directive since his inauguration.
On the personal front, we live with the gnawing uncertainty of whether our love in our hearts, marriages and families will hold up or fall to pieces.
Don’t leave love to chance.
Please humbly believe that only the steadfast love of Jesus – that took him from the glory of heaven to the hell of the Cross – can take us from our moments of “can’t love” or “won’t love” to certain love.
We tried it and it works. Amen.