I was reading this morning one of my favorite passages - Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, p. 18-21. I've read it many times before, but this time something jumped out at me which I'd never seen before. In the first paragraph, it reads, "Righteousness is love...." Suddenly, I thought, What if I replace the word 'righteousness' with 'love'? I read the verse again: "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after love: for they shall be filled." Shivers coursed up and down my spine as I drank in the words.
So many of us - all of humanity in fact - are searching, longing, for love. Josh Groban sings, "Everybody wants to be loved...." There is another secular song which speaks of "looking for love in all the wrong places." It seems that no matter how hard we search for true love in this world, it always eludes us, deceives us, betrays us. Yet, we have a promise that when we hunger and thirst for God's love, we will be filled - not just with His love manifested towards ourselves, but with a heavenly love that wells up inside and flows out to all around us. When I recognize the quality and magnitude of God's love, I can't help but covet it. But for some reason, my heart despairs, because it seems that such a love is so hard for this weak, fallible human being to obtain.
The very next paragraph speaks directly to me, like a thunderbolt from heaven. "Not by painful struggles or wearisome toil, not by gift or sacrifice, is righteousness [or love] obtained; but it is freely given to every soul who hungers and thirsts to receive it." I struggle to wrap my mind around it. By my very nature, I feel compelled to struggle and toil for that which I desire, else I can not receive it. But this is not heaven's way. No matter how much I struggle and fight, I will never obtain this love I desire. The only way is to rest and receive. To surrender. No fighting or striving required. God's love is my love. All I have to do is long for it. Long for it with all my heart. And I will receive it. Wow...
What will it take for me to stop fighting and struggling? To just be still and receive?