"We love him, because he first loved us."
My pblessing talks about how I will love the Savior "because of His great love for [me]". I have often pondered over this statement and wondered how it all works. This week I was given a sweet insight to my may years of pondering.
I have a friend that no matter what I do, or the weaknesses I have, she loves me in spite of it all. (Ha, this should read, I have MANY friends who are like this! God keeps putting great examples in my life, to which I am not complaining!)
This past week I was overwhelmed with this particular friend's love and respect for me! So great was her loves effect on me that all I could think of was the scripture in John and the words from my pblessing. I love this friend a lot, but because she loved/s me first (meaning even when I may not deserve all her kindness/respect/love) when she loves me in spite of who I am, I find myself loving her completely/fully back. "We loved him, because he first loved us". I love her, because she first loved me. Now, I love this friend and if I could claim it, I would say, no, I am pretty sure I did love her "first":)--but I don't think that is what John is telling us. Even when there are many reasons to look at why not to love/show respect for a person, when someone still loves you in spite of it all, you can not help but love them back!
I texted this friend the scripture from John and thanked her for her love. Her text back to me was quite profound. She texted a thank you for "seeing the God side" of her.
I read the text over and over again. What a wise friend I have.
We all are children of God. We all have the potential to become as He is. And because we are his spirit children, we all have a deep "God side" to us/in us. We could choose to see the natural man, and always look for the things others are doing wrong. Ha, that is the easier way to live life because it seems to come so natural at times! (I speak for myself only.) It is very easy to be a fault finder, believe me I know this from experience. But what if we would see the "God" side of everyone, and and focus on that side instead? What would that do to our work environment? Or family surroundings, our school, our callings, our drives on the freeway/or rather the people that drive next to us on the freeway?! (I have to smile at that last thought. I can just see those of us with road rage--when someone cuts us off, we choose to see the God side in them--maybe the God side is "at least they didn't clip us while cutting us off"! :))ha ha.
My sweet friend's love for me proved she was seeing the God side in me, inspite of everything. And as as a result of HER love, I found myself wanting to be better and to step up to my eternal potential--step up with more determination to do what is right and to love others for who they are.
My friend texted me early Tues morning and since then I have come to see more "God" sides!
As I left the temple Tues, I noticed this white bus pull up and several "wiser in years" folks step off the bus. Most of them were already dressed in white.
I found myself feeling a profound love for the bus driver, whom I never saw and all of these seasoned brothers and sisters that were faithfully coming to the temple. And then my love was topped off as I noticed this particular set of temple goes. Did you notice them in the first picture?
One seasoned brother was pushing another seasoned brother up the walkway to the doors of the temple. What love! What a great God side to have. My heart was full!
On Wed I had to run to Home Depot for work and ran into a good friend. I met he an his wife when I was working overseeing the chaple in the temple two years ago. Every Saturday without fail I would notice this good couple come in. I marveled at their faithfulness to come on a Saturday night.
After Dec 07 I stopped working at the temple and did not have the opportunity to see this couple very much. But this last Christmas as I went to a fireside, here was this faithful couple. They shared with me their story of why they choose to go to the temple so faithfully. Their daughter - (to the right of me) has cancer and several other life altering inflictions in the body.
The Doctors many times have told them that their daughter would not live long. This sweet couple go to the temple every week for her. They have seen miracles come. And where the doctors said death would be near--her lungs, brain, and heart have kept on going, in spite of all the cancer and afflictions. This good couple will now travel to PA in the next week to have their daughter go through another risky surgery in the brain.
As I ask this Brother how he was doing he responded that the Bishop had prayed with he and his family, and they felt at peace. They will need to stay in PA for several months. I think of the family members that must stay behind... and the loving grandparents who will watch over the other kids while this faithful couple go to seek more relief for their bright eyed daughter. What an example they are to me!
It is amazing what pure love can do for someone, for family members...Christ-like love.
I have listened to Robert D Hales talk from General Conference about 5/6 times this week.
He teaches how to be provident providers in our temporal and spiritual dealings.
His closing statement has stirred my soul. Elder Hales said, "I bear my special witness that through the Atonement He [Jesus Christ] has overcome all things."
I know this is a really duh moment for me, but my understanding of the atonement has broadened. Not only was the atonement an act that was preformed to give us a way to repent of our sins but "through" the Atonement Christ overcame everything. And has set the example for us... this means THROUGH His atonement, we too, CAN overcome all things!
Bishop help drive this point last night. He shared that the reason we have to take "time" to repent of our wrong choices is not to satisfy the "needs" of the atonement. The atonement needs no payment. It's grasp reaches the farthest/most lost/wondering sheep. What does need payment, is our souls!
Christ does not need us to suffer a specific amount of time as a payment for being able to use the atonement... rather, the time we spend repenting is for us. It is the time we NEED to cleanse our "infected" souls: an infection brought upon us because of our choice to sin. Repentance is for US, not to satisfy the atonement...
Beautiful truth Bishop! Deep.
So yes, as I read this blog, it is all for me, yet again! :) What power love can do. How amazing it is to choose to focus on the "God" side of someone, however difficult we may feel it is to do. And how wonderful to have the Atonement and repentance: TIME given to sanctify/reline our souls.