read to feed the soul
Written by FBJ Women for Women
by: Mysti Chustz
Scribbles of Love
Several years ago when I was a brand new mama, my firstborn with his little toddler hand gave 1 John 4-5 a good makeover in my Bible. I remember being quite irritated at the time. There was even a little discipline involved. Now, it seems ridiculous now that I have a little distance from the situation, as do most things we agonize over. Now that he is in his teenage years, I hold this page close as a dear memory of those sweet days. It’s precious to me. But, it’s far more than a sentimentality to me now. It serves as one of the most visible and repetitive ways God has called me out in conviction and healed my heartaches over the years.
1 John 4-5 doesn’t play around when it comes to defining love. It speaks with clarity about God’s love for us, our love for God, and how we are to love each other. Can I tell you how many times I’ve blown it in the “love” department with my own family and this scribbled out page has screamed at me to read and repent? Or the many times I haven’t loved well because of crippling anger or fear and these markings have leapt off the page into my desperate heart? I can certainly talk of those hard moments of conviction, but can I also tell you of when my doubting soul needed assurance of God’s unfailing love for me? These little pen marks have been like medicine to my ailing faith. These chapters have given me healing time and time again. Over time, those scribbles on paper have become deep etchings on my own heart. “I love you. Now, love others.”
You can say it was random that my little guy chose to scribble this specific page in all of scripture, but I really know better. I know that I’ve nearly memorized these 2 chapters because his little hand pressed the issue in my life. I’ll always be grateful for it. God works in the simplest yet most complex of ways often to force our stubborn hearts to let His word penetrate.
We do not even know love aside from His love for us. “For this is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and gave His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we also ought to love each other. No one has seen God, but if we love each other, God’s love is made complete in us.” 1 John 4:10-12
Father, we only know love because of you. Help us love as you love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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