People are dying. Countries are fighting. Children are starving. Many people are filled with rage and have lost all sense of hope. The world is scary, sin is abundant. Thanks to the media, we get a glimpse of suffering more now than we ever have before. But it’s always been there. Pain and heartache have always been staples in the diet of life.
How do we make it better? This may sound outrageously cliche, but I think we have to love more. And I’m not talking about the ooey-gooey, kissy-mushy type of love. I’m talking about the kind of love that can be given to a stranger, an enemy or someone who seems flat-out unlovable. A nice gesture. A kind smile. One simple moment that can bring brightness to a dark world. What would happen if we all made a commitment each day to love just a little bit more? If we all wrote ourselves reminders to smile more and frown less? If we made a point to start being kind to those who upset us the most?
I believe big things would happen. Transformation would take place. But it’s not easy. I am a sinner, you are too. I am prideful, and jealous, and judgmental, and when people hurt me I want them to hurt them back. Sometimes I don’t feel like loving. But there’s this amazing thing called grace, and God’s giving it away for free. We will always be sinners, but God has the power to transform our hearts and help us move more towards love each and every day. All we have to do is ask. I think that’s a pretty sweet deal.
Today I was moved by a story of love found in the first book of Samuel. Saul, who was appointed King of Israel by Samuel, had a young servant named David. (Yes, this is the same David that killed Goliath and later became King of Israel). David accomplished many great feats, became popular with the people and was in God’s favor. Soon, Saul became wickedly jealous and wanted to kill David in fear that David would steal his throne. In order to manipulate David, Saul gave him his daughter, Michal, in marriage. Saul believed that he could use Michal to deceive David and eventually kill him. Unfortunately for Saul, Michal loved David. She loved him so much that she risked her own life and broke loyalty with her father in order to save him. Love conquered jealousy. (For the full story, check out 1 Samuel 18 and 19).
David, who went on to become an incredible, righteous ruler over the Kingdom of Israel, was saved by the love of one woman.