I had a rather strange dream last night. Well, most of my dreams are strange, but this one still has me thinking.
In this dream, as often happens in my dreams, I was involved in some sort of conflict. As the "bad" guys came toward me, I somehow knocked down the first man, even though he was huge and obviously strong. Then suddenly he became the one who stopped all the other bad guys. I was surprised, but grateful.
Then he looked at me. In his eyes I saw a love deeper and stronger than I can describe. He didn't say a word, but I knew he loved me. And it wasn't the same look as someone who is simply "in love" with me. It was a strong, solid love that would protect me at all costs, even sacrifice himself for me.
I was stunned.
The dream moved on, as dreams do. But the other bad guys hadn't given up. They tried to get me by pushing some kind of wall over on me. I was trapped in a tiny space as the wall slowly lowered on top of me. I crawled through the little tunnel space, trying to get to the end so I could get out.
My hand was barely at the opening, and the wall was almost crushing me, when I was pulled out by strong hands. I looked up into the same loving eyes as before. Once again he spoke no words, just looked at me with deepest love.
That was the end of the dream. There was no resolution to the original conflict, just the knowledge that I was loved, and loved more deeply than I ever expected.
I'm very grateful for all of the loving people God has blessed me to know. I certainly haven't had a lack of love in my life.
Yet I think that love is a gift that needs to be received, not just acknowledged. Knowing that someone loves me is different than receiving their love with gratitude.
I think part of learning to receive love is understanding the source of love.
God is love. All love comes from Him. And His love is higher, deeper, wider, and longer than anything we can imagine (Ephesians 3:17-19)!
God's love for us is so intense that He actually gave His own Son, Jesus, to die for our sins (John 3:16) -
*so that we would no longer be God's enemies (Colossians 1:21-22)
*so that we could be rescued from death, despair, fear, loneliness, darkness... (Hebrews 2:14-15)
*so that we could find everything we need in the vast riches of God's love (Psalm 63).
God's love is powerful!
As we understand God's love better, I think we'll recognize His love expressed to us through others. And as we learn to gratefully receive love from God and others, it brings continual healing - to our heart, mind, soul, and even physical body.
When I got up this morning, I wasn't feeling well, but I pushed myself to fix some breakfast. As I sat down to eat, I remembered my dream. I saw again those eyes of love looking back at me. And I couldn't help but smile.
There is something very powerful in believing that I am loved.
So if you haven't heard it in a while, I want to tell you right now - You are loved.
You are valued.
You are cherished.
You are treasured.
You are delighted in.
You are fully known and fully loved by an awesome God, with a love that is far beyond anything you've ever imagined!
Please receive His love with gratitude. Let it put a smile on your face and a song in your heart. Let it heal things you never thought could be healed. Let it strengthen you. Let it flow through you to others who need to know they are loved as well.
This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. -1 John 4:9-10, 16a
I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness. -Jeremiah 31:3