Those Three Magic Words

10 Apr

“God proved His love on the Cross. When Christ hung, and bled, and died, it was God saying to the world, ‘I love you.'” ~ Billy Graham

I love you.  Those three magic words can move mountains. They can level hills.  They can fill valleys.  They can bring great delight. And, they can bring sorrow.  Love.  It is something that every person pursues in one way, shape, or form throughout his or her life.

Our first experiences of love come from our families.  Our parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and older siblings all showed us love by the way they took care of us, spoke to us, hugged us, or held us.  We longed for their love and we did everything that we could do to receive that love.  Their love quite literally sustained us and gave us purpose.

Then, as we got older, our eyes began to wander and we looked for romantic love. Those first “puppy love” experiences that we had in grade school made our heads reel.  We may have been confused and our feelings very well may have been mercurial.

The simple truth is that we spend our entire lives looking for love.  Just like the song, there are times that we look for love in wrong places.  Those are the times we may be hurt or may hurt others.  Other times, we look in right places and find strength and healing.

The ultimate person from whom to look for love is God Himself.  He loves us like no other can or will.  He loves completely and unconditionally.  His love never comes with strings attached and He would never hurt us.

Today, we remember the lengths He went to in order to show His love for us.  He sent His Son and His Son loved us so much that He died on the cross to save us from our sins.  We think about all of that on Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord.

There are times that we have seen or heard about that kind of sacrificial love exemplified in others.  A parent might see a child in imminent danger.  Perhaps there is a car headed for the child who is crossing the street without looking.  The parent might even push the child out of the way and get struck by the car.

We hear about saints like Maximilian Kolbe who bravely took the place of another condemned prisoner.  He went to the starvation bunker with nine other prisoners and led them through prayer and song as they died.  He held out his arm to be injected with carbolic acid when the commandant wanted him dead as well.  These examples are rare.  God’s love is not rare.  It is constant.

FAITH ACTION:  Ask God for the grace necessary to love as He loves and for the willingness to love others regardless of the cost to yourself.