Monday, August 3, 2009

Enduring Love...

Enduring Love. Just the sound of those two words can arouse fantasies of romance and passion. Sadly though, as we are enlightened by real life disappointments and real world disillusionment, we often conclude that genuine, enduring love is merely the product of fiction, not anything real that we'll ever actually experience.

The dictionary defines the word "endure," as something that lasts or continues in the same state. No wonder we are skeptical. People throw in the towel and give up on love rather than staying the course these days. Over half of all couples divorce as the song says "after the love is gone". So cynical are we, that many don't even bother with marriage, choosing instead to live together outside of God's boundaries until the "feelings" of love have faded and greener pastures beckon.

I have been fortunate to witness a few examples of enduring love--the kind of self-sacrificing, devoted love that keeps on keeping on even after "love's receiver" can offer nothing in return. As she lingers helplessly, bed-ridden, requiring that the "love giver" provide for her every need, her lover evolves into a picture of what I believe today's scripture passages portray our Heavenly Father to be--an enduring lover.

2 Chronicles 6-7 and Psalm 136 continue this fascinating chronological journey through God's Word with a detailed account of Solomon's prayer of dedication of the temple, God's response, and then a beautiful song written to express the Psalmist's gratitude for The Lord's enduring love.

In a world full of quitters and giver-uppers, we can be certain that there is One whose love will endure forever. There will never be a moment when God's love for us stops. Others will fail us, and it may seem as if enduring love is merely the stuff of romance novels, but don't fall prey to that misconception. When you are disappointed by life's evidences of failed, flawed lovers, remember these words from Psalm 136:

4 Give thanks to him who alone does mighty miracles.
His faithful love endures forever.
5 Give thanks to him who made the heavens so skillfully.
His faithful love endures forever.
6 Give thanks to him who placed the earth among the waters.
His faithful love endures forever.
7 Give thanks to him who made the heavenly lights—
His faithful love endures forever.
8 the sun to rule the day,
His faithful love endures forever.
9 and the moon and stars to rule the night.
His faithful love endures forever.

Thank you Father, for your faithful, enduring love. Amen.