I Love You
By Catiana Nak Kheiyn
As Jewel, my 9-year old daughter, pranced down the Aspen leaf-laden trail at Mueller State Park this autumn, she kept telling me, her brother, and our friend, "I love you! I love you!" Around every corner, "I love you!" Atop every rock, "I love you!" While riding in the car, "I love you!" Can you see how this got to be a bit humorous after a while? With the mountain breeze sending yellow tree feathers down around us, we would laugh and say, "I love you too!"
Why was Jewel so affectionate to us that day? Simply put, she was having a most excellent time, and her little heart had filled with joy. When that bubbling cup overflowed, what came out was love. But instead of singing the accolades of the gorgeous natural world we had come to see, she said, "I love you" as an expression of giving thanks to the ones she held responsible for the warm fuzzies inside her.
When do you get your warm fuzzies? When you eat or drink of something truly delicious? When your family is around you (and getting along)? When you have finished a project and are proud of the result? The world has so many shiny presents, tied with grinning ribbons, vying for position to garner our affections.
All these things may be reasons for joy, but how often do we recognize the source of all things good? Where do these warm fuzzies come from anyway? The second half of 1 John 4:16 says, "God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him." By definition, we can't even experience love apart from God. So why are we so quick to attribute our good feelings to other things?
From people and things to pride and success, we yearn for happiness to fill us up. But seeking love from such earthen gifts is like trying to squeeze honey from a stone. Our Creator is the source of all love, and He has plenty to go around. We may drink of His love freely; His cup will never be empty. "God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." (Romans 5:5)
How would our enjoyment of the good things in life change if we were to view our joy from a different perspective? When a long-awaited job comes through, or conception becomes possible, or a home can be purchased, or we finally experience a moment of peace in the midst of chaos—what if we say to God, "I love You!" and see that the source of our jubilation has come from Him? Does this not make the joy still richer and more decadent?
"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change." (James 1:17) When your cup overflows, let it bubble over with an expression of love to the One who made the waters. Without abundant flowing water, the fountain is nothing but a statue with holes in it.
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." (Romans 15:3)
Image Credit: Catiana Nak Kheiyn
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