A LOVE ENCOUNTER
A LOVE ENCOUNTER
What a difference it makes to feel loved. I remember asking someone once what love is. He thought about it for a while and tried to explain it, then began to get a bit annoyed and said. “I don’t know! What kind of question is that?” I probably should have left it but decided to ask some more people, and surprisingly found similar responses. It started me on a quest to find out what love really is. So, I prayed and searched the scriptures for answers. Since then the Lord continues to show me the simplicity of this complex idea.
He began by unravelling all the wrong thoughts I had about love. I knew it was something I needed and wanted so much, and wondered why I could not feel it. Even from those who told me they loved me. “Love is so complicated”, I thought. How could we want something so much that we don’t understand and can’t define? After all, anyone can say it, but how can you know it’s true? By what we do. . .right? Actions speak louder than words. Then He reminded me of John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. God so loved us that He gave … wow! That’s when it hit me. Love is about giving. God didn’t just say He loves us, He proved it by what He did! “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8. That was the pivotal moment for me, realizing for the first time in my life that love would not come from what others could give me but from what God already gave.
Continuing to search the scriptures that were illuminating my understanding, He reminded me of the verse that changed everything for me. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God” Ephesians 2:8. Our Holy perfect God showers His love upon us through the gift of His Son, though we did nothing to deserve it. Love comes from God, 1 John 4:7. Meditating on that truth helped me to finally be able to understand and know what love is, and feel it too. The revelation of God’s love for me through Jesus began to melt away that fear and loneliness that resided in my heart for so long.
I’m sure another woman in scripture must have felt the same way. In John 4, Jesus had a meeting with a woman at a well. A woman that was seeking desperately to worship the Lord and know the Messiah. Imagine being face to face with Jesus! She didn’t fear Him because she didn’t know who it was that was talking with her. When Jesus finally revealed who He was to her, she ran away. Not out of fear, but out of absolute amazement! The man she was speaking with was the Messiah, the One they were all waiting for! The One God promised to send to save them. The One through whom all things were made was talking with her! Can you imagine how loved she would have felt at that moment? The Creator God bestowed such a blessing upon her. To send His Son to meet with her, of all women. Jesus chose to meet and talk and reveal who He truly was to her. Wow! “But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.” Romans 5:20.
Jesus showed His love for this woman by meeting her where she was at, both physically and spiritually. He didn’t judge her, though He knew she was with a man who was not her husband. He loved her and told her how to receive eternal life. As a result, she went and told many others who then came to see Jesus for themselves and then believed that He is the Savior of the world.
May we do the same today. Love says, “I care for you. You are valuable to me. I know all about you and I love you anyways.” That’s how I see Jesus responded to the Samaritan woman at the well. May it be our model as we meet people today. Imagine what the world could be like if children today knew that they are loved, wanted and valuable. What a difference a love encounter with the Savior of the world can make. May we come to the well and drink from the living Word each day so that we may be vessels of His love to everyone we meet.