King Arthur said to Lancelot in First Knight, “A man who fears nothing is a man who loves nothing; and if you love nothing, what joy is there in your life? I may be wrong.” I think he is right. Love is the greatest idea, and no life is complete without it. We yearn to love and be loved in return, yet I doubt we will ever fully understand love. Love is also dangerous.
The man who fears nothing is a man who loves nothing, because the man who loves nothing has nothing to lose. However, the man who loves greatly has everything to lose. The man who loves greatly is passionate about the welfare and peace of others, and he carries the burden of compassion for those in distress. No wonder the Apostle Paul wrote so many letters. Paul loved God’s people deeply, and he couldn’t help himself. Their needs and struggles were a weight of concern on Paul’s heart.
Loving people is beautiful, but it is also hard. It is my great honor to serve the Lord in loving His people, and it truly hurts to see people suffer. Greater pain is seeing people resist the Lord and persist in sin. Life is hard enough without inviting brokenness and strife. It is so hard to watch people struggle. Perhaps I have only begun to understand the heart of our Lord. I want to love people like God loves people.
Isaiah wrote the Messiah would be a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief (Isaiah 53:3). This could certainly apply to His suffering on the cross or even the weight of our sin placed upon Jesus, but I think it goes even beyond those things. Nobody loves more deeply than our God, and He weeps over our sin and brokenness. God places our tears in a bottle (Psalm 56:8) and weeps over our sin. Jesus wept as He rode into Jerusalem (Luke 19:41-44). He did not weep because of His impending death. Jesus wept, because Jerusalem rejected the hope of Christ.
Praise God for loving us in spite of our wanderings. Praise God for bearing the weight of compassion for us. May we submit to the love of God and graciously offer it to others.
Isaiah 53:4 – Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.