I want to know what love is.
It’s the age-old question, and the theme of a gazillion love songs, and it’s the mystery I’m pondering most right now. What – really – is love?
We read something a few weeks ago during our staff prayer time at church, which led to a sort of epiphany for me. It was a piece by John Piper with the elaborate title, “The Incalculable Wonder of Being a Christian.” And I’ve been wondering about it ever since.
He starts out with this – Being a Christian means experiencing the supernatural every day. Living as new creatures in Christ is amazing beyond calculation. And then he explains – The reason I said that this is amazing beyond calculation is that our life and its affections are not merely gifts of Christ but acts of Christ. That is, our love and joy and peace and strength are not merely gifts from Christ. They are the very love and joy and peace and strength of Christ himself.
Here’s the thing. I already knew three-fourths of this was true. I’ve been living in the supernatural understanding of three quarters of this incalculable wonder. But missing out on one amazing chunk.
I’ve been missing love.
Let me back up to explain.
I get joy. Joy comes from Jesus. His joy is boundless, and it is His delight to share this joy with me. Even when life sucks, as it sometimes does, Jesus is my joy. Joy I get.
And peace. Incredible peace, that passes all understanding. This, too, is from Him. There’s no explaining how I can have it otherwise. He is peace. In me.
Strength, the same. In my weakness, He is strong. It’s His strength, not mine. I take no credit. I’m aware of my limits. I come dependent. I need His strength.
But love is different. At least for me. And I’m still trying to figure this out.
I am responsible for love. To love Him. To love others. It’s the great command. To love Him, with heart soul and mind. To love my neighbor as myself.
It’s up to me, right?
And the epiphany of the wonder has me spinning still.
What if it’s not up to me at all?
Every day since then I’ve been on a journey of sorts, re-discovering love. Wondering and searching. Asking. What does it mean? And I have a hunch love is one of those mysteries I’ll spend a lifetime uncovering. Like prayer. I know enough about it to know I don’t know the half of it. And I think love is probably like that.
What is love? Ask the question and you’ll get a hundred answers. Love is commitment. Love is passion. Love is a feeling. Love is emotion. Love is action. Love is romance. Love is sacrifice.
So I’m on a quest of sorts, to find it. I want to know what love is. This love. His love. This incalculable wonder of His love through me – my life and affections the very acts of Him. Not my love at all, but His love in me.
And here I am spinning in the wonder of it all.