Love is in the air. It’s almost Valentine’s day and the color of the world right now is RED. I can taste the dark chocolate and smell the pink roses. Yet, somewhere in my brain, I can faintly hear Tina Turner singing “What’s love got to do with it? Who needs a heart when a heart can be broken?” Can you relate? What do you see, smell, taste, or hear when you think of Valentine’s Day or love?
God is love. In 1 John 4:7-9 it says: God’s Love and Ours
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
He created us to love, and to be loved. It’s our heart’s desire, but sometimes heartache and pain can make us withdraw from giving love, receiving love or even feeling loved. I can see the red, taste the chocolate, and smell the flowers, and dance the Valentine’s Day Dance anytime, but can I really FEEL the LOVE???
A few days back I woke up in the middle of the night with this thought: Love With Abandon. I typed it on my phone and went back to sleep. I woke up thinking “love with abandon” – What does that even mean?
Love with abandon. Merriam-Webster defines abandon as : (noun) a feeling or attitude of wild or complete freedom
Love with Wild or Complete Freedom. Love With Abandon. Love Big, without worry. Love without fear …take it all in, and don’t hold anything back. Complete freedom in a wild and reckless way.
Sometimes, I think heartache or pain causes us to all shut off parts of our heart, and we start to build walls and keep an arm’s length distance to connecting and feeling love with others – especially when it’s risky. Throw God in the mix, and we shut Him out too.
In Revelation 3:20, Jesus says, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.”
When He knocks and we open the door and let Him in, He doesn’t want to be invited in just to linger in the foyer where there’s no clutter or dust. He wants all of your heart….not just the parts you are comfortable sharing.
Origin of Abandon (from Merriam-Webster.com): Middle English abandounen, from Anglo-French abandoner, from (mettre) a ban dun: to hand over, put in someone’s control.
What does it look like to hand over your entire heart and being to Christ? How can we love Him with abandon and surrender all to Him?
In Mark 12:30 Jesus says the greatest commandment is this: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
It doesn’t say love him with the part of your heart that functions well, or the part of your soul that is alive with joy, or the part of your mind that understands, or with some of your strength. He wants you to love him with the broken and torn apart pieces of your heart. He wants you to love him with the parts of your mind that scream WHY???, and Where were you?? He wants you to love him with all of the weary in your achy soul. He wants you to love him when your strength barely exists, and every muscle burns.
Love with abandon. Don’t hold anything back. Love Him with all of it. When we are able to love Him with abandon, then we will be free to love ourselves and others, and receive love with complete freedom!
What about you? Is he knocking? Have you already invited Him in but left Him lingering in the foyer where it’s nice and clean? Take Him into each room of your heart – under all the beds, into all the closets, down into the basements, behind the shower curtains. Let Him go with you to all of the places you closed off. Take the locks off, open the boxes of pain and let His love in. Give Him everything. Love Him with abandon. Love with complete freedom!
Take a moment to listen to this song by Hillsong Young and Free – Sinking Deep. As you listen, think of how you can love with abandon. I have had this song on repeat this week. The chorus gets me every time:
I’m wide awake, drawing close, stirred by grace
And all my heart is yours
All fear removed, I breathe you in, I lean into
Your love, Oh, your love
Lean into His love as you listen: