Called to Love

Last week during my Praying Through Proverbs prayer time, I was struck with a verse I am still mulling over:

Singing cheerful songs to a person with a heavy heart
is like taking someone’s coat
in cold weather
or pouring vinegar in a wound.
Proverbs 25:20 NLT

I like to think I’m an optimistic person that strives to be an encouragement to others. And this verse has left me conflicted because I want to be able to lighten a heavy heart with cheer. I want to be able to praise through the sorrow. I want those I love to know you can find joy in all things and would love to help them with that discovery.

How else am I supposed to encourage others when they’re down if I can’t show them the bright side?

But no matter how I look at it — doesn’t matter if I believe God made me this way for a reason. One thing is certain:

That is not my calling.
And I know it isn’t yours, either.

We’re not called to fix it. God doesn’t require I make it all better. We’re not called to heal hurt. We’re not called to have all the answers. That’s not our job. That’s His. But Christ has told us clearly what our job is in the grand scheme of His grace:

 “Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart
and with all your soul and with all your mind.’
38 This is the first and greatest commandment.
39 And the second is like it:
‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
Matthew 22:37-39 NIV

~~~~~~~~~~

We’re simply called to love.
My job is to love you.
Right where you are.

Friends, when you are down and out, I will meet you there. I will leave my joy at the door and cry with you in the dark. I will listen with empathetic ears. And I will pray for you until you’re ready to see the light of grace.

If you’ll let me, friend.

For love isn’t always cheerful. And maybe in showing you the love you need for the moment you’re in, you will be encouraged. Maybe you’ll see Christ in a brand new way through me.

That’s something I can strive for. It’s how God made me to be, after all.

Yes, I like to think I’m an optimistic person. One who strives to show the love I’ve found in my Redeemer. That is my calling. And something I intend to do.

How about you? How do you show Christ’s love to a person with a heavy heart? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

This post is linked up to Word-Filled Wednesdays
over at Internet Cafe Devotions
and:

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22 thoughts on “Called to Love

  1. I recently had experience with a friend with a heavy heart. Listening was the first thing I was able to do to comfort, letting her share all her worries and fears. Praying with her and for her. Sharing God’s truth with her through His Word- there will be suffering in this life, but there is hope. I didn’t do this all in one setting so another way, I would say is be available.

    Thanks for sharing the Proverb it is a good one to think about.

    • What a great friend you are, Paula. I’m thrilled you were able to show God’s love to your friend. Yes–be available. that’s the first step, isn’t it.
      Thank you for stopping by and sharing! (and oh my goodness, I completely forgot to check in for #HMC5 this morning! ack!)

  2. amen! how true! what is this pressure we put on ourselves to be the healer of hearts when He, Himself, is the Great Healer? you’re right on, nikki. its not our job to heal, but it is our job to love. we’ve just spent numerous weeks at church studying this very concept of loving each other. how it is so difficult to fully love (agape love) a God we cannot see. but we are given the “how-to” in 1 corinthians 13. God made a provision to overcome the difficulty in loving the un-seen and make it possible. to fully love Him…we love each other! (just like it says in 1 john 4:7-8.) 🙂

    so when a friend is aching, suffering from the weight of the pain in this world, i can come alongside of them and by lifting them up in my prayers and agape loving them they can be brought closer to the Great Healer. He will make them whole….not me. i pray that He restores them to wholeness, protects from the root of bitterness, and gives them a glimmer of the good that will come from this pain. for He has promised that He works all things out for the good, so we have to trust and look for that good. if we can see but a glimmer of that, the healing can come so much faster.

    • There is such beauty in agape love, isn’t there! So thrilled to hear you living it, friend.
      “To fully love Him–we love each other!” ~ a brilliant description of love bringing us full circle. Thank you for sharing!

  3. People come to me for help all the time, but I’ve learned that they’re usually coming to have someone listen. Sometimes it’s so hard because I want to FIX EVERYTHING! I want the perfect words for them, but God reminds me that it’s not about ME! It’s about HIM through me. I’m nothing more than the vessel. Thanks for posting this, friend. 🙂

  4. Thank you so much for sharing this. I struggle with constantly wanting to “fix” everything, when God calls us instead to offer comfort. I needed to hear this today.

    • Sarah, you made my day. Thank you for reaching out and sharing with me. I struggle with this, too. . .I don’t struggle with listening or feeling for my friend. I struggle with feeling the need to fix it. to make them better. I’m thinking maybe that’s a side-effect of love. . .but what a comfort to know that He’s got that under control!

  5. I strive to love others. It’s hard sometimes. I can only do it with His help. Thus why I love you. You genuinely care for others. I know this. I cannot wait to for my blog friends to meet you!

  6. Being a “fixer” too, I have learned that a listening ear and a big hug go a long way. Before I learned this I think I pushed some people away by trying to “help” them instead of just being there for them. A hug can give more comfort than words any day!

  7. Nikki, this is so beautifully written. I’m always trying to be the “fixer” myself. I just can’t handle watching someone I love experience pain, hurt, depression, fear, worry, guilt, or any other emotion or raw feeling. What God is always reminding me of is that I don’t have control (something I struggle with) and I need to trust His plan in the situation. Yes, He has called us to love one another. That’s it. What we sometimes don’t immediately realize is that through our acts and words of love, God uses us to help heal, comfort, provide for, and encourage those in need.

    I saw your feature on My Freshly Brewed Life. So happy to officially “meet” you, although I know I’ve been out to your blog before.

    Blessings,
    ~Rosann

    • Rosann! Good to see you again. Yes, we have connected before but am so thrilled you stopped by via Barbie’s beautiful blog!
      I sometimes wonder if that’s the mother in us–this need to fix and the pain we feel when we see someone hurting. And what a blessing it is to be used by Him when we trust His plan. . .

      Thanks for encouraging me today!
      All for Him,
      Nikki

  8. I have learned, sometimes the hard way (ouch!), that what a hurting person most needs is a listening ear, a presence, compassion and affirmation of your love, prayers and practical help as needed. Thanks for being an encourager, Nikki 🙂 Love to you!

  9. When we lost our daughter one of the things I remember of the hours that day was the two friends who sat and cried with me. It seemed like hours. I’m not sure how long it was. There were few words, just tears.

    This is excellent. I pray God brings many to read this truth.

    • So thankful you had true friends during your time of need, Pamela. Losing a child is something no one should go through alone. . .
      Thank you so much for stopping by today and sharing with me, Pamela!

  10. Nikki:

    This is a beautiful post! Sometimes words aren’t necesary when a friend is facing a tough time. Just to come along side of them and let them know you care is often one of the best things we can do.

    Blessings,
    Joan

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