Sometimes we find love in all the wrong places, and sometimes we find love in the unexpected places, but hardly ever do we find love in the perfect places. I used to think that love meant I would be enough for the person that loved me, and that person I loved would be enough for me, too. I always thought that wherever love was there would be no more wants or needs.
I never knew that loving God meant I would have to turn away from my own personal desires. I never knew it meant that my heart would be turned upside down in so many ways. I always thought love would protect, and when I loved I would be protected. I always looked at love as shelter and for security.
Love was all I ever wanted, I just wanted people to love me well. I thought maybe if I did all the right things then they would love me. Or maybe if I gave them everything then they would love me. Or perhaps love was about making them afraid that they would lose me, so I would threaten to leave, often. Once I realized doing all the right things didn’t work then I started doing all the wrong things, I just wanted someone to love me, care for me, fight for me.
It was a messed up view of love.
Sometimes I can find myself going back to my old thoughts of love and pursuing attention, or even considering what can I give so that I can receive love.
I never knew that love is found in the desert. Love isn’t the absence of want and desire, it’s actually found in spite of that. Love is found when you say no to your temptation so that you can say yes to The One you love.
Sometimes I sit and wait for God to prove that He loves me, but what I don’t realize is that God already proved it to me when He said “no” in the desert, and He said “yes” to the cross. In the garden I imagine God was just waiting for us to say “no” to our want so that we would say “yes” to Him. Love hasn’t really changed since the beginning of time.
We don’t have to test God’s love for us because He has already said the “I love you.” Love wouldn’t be the same if we didn’t know what Jesus sacrificed for us. Jesus said “no”, and in order to say no He had to have had a choice, or a desire, that went against what was the best choice.
Love is a choice, we will always be faced with options, temptations, and the struggle will be very real. We might even fall into the trap of religion where we pray for escape, or even build walls of protection, but sometimes the greatest lesson on love is found even in the desert, or even in the darkest places…we truly can find love in the desert, we just need to press into the perfect love of the Father so that we can move past our fear of the imperfect love of this world.