Wednesday, November 9, 2011

You Loved Me Anyway...

This week, last week, this month, this day ---- they are all spinning by with such a blur. A blur of words and needs and hopes and hurting people. Oh how God is quickening my heart for those who are hurting. It's a painfully perfect way of getting me to remove my eyes from what might be hurting me ---- to move my heart to what is hurting others.
Next week i will be blessed to have a minor surgery --- one i've needed for sometime now --- that will relieve me of an ongoing "discomfort". I'm so thankful for doctors, nurses, and those who know how to do what needs to be done. I'm so thankful ultimately for the Healer --- the One who works through those that "wear the skin".
But i've caught on to something God is doing in my life --- concerning pain.
If i only look at my own --- it becomes monumentally overwhelming. If i pause to consider it for any length of time at all, it consumes the focus of my thoughts and rules my day.
But if i only give my "hurt" a nod of acknowledgment and attend to it as is needed (we should never ignore what is hurting, but need to take care of it), then move on to what is on God's agenda for us for that day ---- then the thing that might have consumed us, does not rule us, it is lessened, it is decreased.

God has whispered to my heart daily ---- "every one is, has, or will be hurting donna" "deeply hurting"-- "do they know how much I love them?", "do they really know how much I care?"
It's not His fault or His choosing that we hurt. He created Eden. This place was not His plan.
But in His goodness, He will still bring beauty from the ashes of our pains ---- if we lean into Him fully.

I'm reminded of the precious old lady i knew who had suffered much pain over the years as her back curved and bowed leaving her in a permanent bent over position. Her precious little bent body forced her eyes to always look at the ground when she walked. But she ---- she noticed the flowers. The flowers were her constant reminder that He was with her, He loved her, He saw her, He thought of her, He cared, He ---- He gave her flowers. She chose to no focus on what she could not see as she walked along --- she chose to focus on the gifts from Him that she could better see --- because of her positioning. She saw many flowers --- that i never even noticed. She was richer for it.

If we belabor the "crookedness" of our situation --- and refuse to see even the flowers underfoot --- we will be defeated, devoured, devastated, destroyed.
But if we realign our focus on what is in front of us, we will see that others need to be loved, and we have the capacity to love them. Others need to feel a kindness in their lives, and we can be that for them, even if we are bent over with our own brokenness ---- we can still move in their direction and remind them --- that they are loved. And in the moving in their direction --- God will open our eyes to the flowers we would have otherwise missed.

Sadly, I knew another lady --- who was consumed with her own thoughts, hurts, feelings, wounds. She sat in her quiet world of pain and was devoured. Eventually, strokes took her mind from her. In the end, she was so self-consumed, she seemed to implode inside her own world. She died a lonely death, leaving a legacy of sadness and bitterness to those who loved her. She chose, in the end, to focus on herself, she did not focus on others. She was starving for the very thing she refused to give ---- love. I loved her --- deeply. But in her final years, she was somehow unable to receive the love offered to her, because she had starved herself of the emotion. She quit giving it and she quit receiving it. Was love still there for her? Yes -- but she no longer received it. She died alone, physically, mentally, and emotionally. It was a painful lesson God taught me ---- a visual reminder --- of what happens when the love flow stops.

God is so serious with us when He tells us to love others --- no matter what. We are told to love others because everyone needs to be loved ---- and also in the love flow out -- there will be a love flowing back in --- as we empty ourselves, we will be filled. Not necessarily by the person we loved --- but we will be re-filled ---- by others and/or by our Abba. It's HIS design, His plan for us. It's how He says it will work. Love others --- give it out --- and you will be loved --- you will be filled. When you are filled --- give it out again ---- never stop the flow.

It's what our Father does for us.
Why would God love us as He does? Why does He even bother to give us His Word, His Bible, His love letter to us? We, each one of us, we know, we do not deserve it. I know i don't. I've often told God --- "if i were you God -- i wouldn't bother with me -- i'd move on to another daughter who is more worthy, who can give you a better return for your investment..." But thankfully -- God reminds me -- i am NOT Him. His ways are not my way and His thoughts are so much higher than mine could even begin to conceive.
God loves us --- because HE IS GOD and HE IS LOVE.
He does not love us because we are good enough or smart enough or pretty enough or successful enough. He loves us ---- He pours HIS GREAT LOVE into us. And He wants the love to flow freely
-- into us
-- from us
-- into others
-- and back to HIM.
Ultimately it's a love circle
--- from God -- to me -- to others -- to Him -- to me --- to others --- to Him.

If it flows --- it is beautiful --- even if our backs are bent double with disease and sickness.
If the flow is stopped --- everything near it dies.

I love the song by SideWalk Prophets ---- i sing it at the top of my lungs in the car --- i mean every word of it --- "oh how He loves me"
Here's a link to a video of the song -- --- take a minute and close your eyes -- sit with God -- thank HIM for loving you ---- and then LET THAT LOVE FLOW OUT!!!

"You Love Me Anyway"
a song by Sidewalk Prophets
The question was raised
As my conscience fell
A silly, little lie
It didn’t mean much
But it lingers still
In the corners of my mind
Still you call me to walk
On the edge of this world
To spread my dreams and fly
But the future’s so far
My heart is so frail
I think I’d rather stay inside
But You love me anyway
It’s like nothing in life that I’ve ever known
Yes You love me anyway
Oh Lord, how You love me
How You love me
It took more than my strength
To simply be still
To seek but never find
All the reasons we change
The reasons I doubt
And why do loved ones have to die?
But You love me anyway
It’s like nothing in life that I’ve ever known
Yes You love me anyway
Oh Lord, how You love me
I am the thorn in Your crown
But You love me anyway
I am the sweat from Your brow
But You love me anyway
I am the nail in Your wrist
But You love me anyway
I am Judas’ kiss
But You love me anyway
See now, I am the man who yelled out from the crowd
For Your blood to be spilled on this earth shaking
Yes then, I turned away with a smile on my face
With this sin in my heart tried to bury Your grace
And then alone in the night, I still called out for You
So ashamed of my life, my life, my life

But You love me anyway
It’s like nothing in life that I’ve ever known
Yes,You love me anyway
Oh Lord, how You love me
You love me, yes You love me
How You love me
How You love me
How You love me

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another." John 13:34 (NIV)

"Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves." Romans 12:10

"Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me." John 14:24

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love." John 15:9 

©2011 Donna Taylor/Reaching for the Robe


  1. Thank you this morning for reminding me to not be consumed with our own pains as I am struggling with head pains this morning. Love the ways in which God speaks to us through His word and through others and through His love and the love of others to me. It wraps me with His warmth and I can truly feel Him around me.

  2. i'm so thankful! You, dear Erin, are one of the most beautiful examples of God's circle of Love. You love well ---- and oh goodness --- how much you are loved!