February 24


God loves His children in passionately protective ways. He guards our very souls in His almighty care. No matter what our circumstances are, God never leaves us alone. As God’s children we can never be separated from His love. Never. No matter how insane or sad, broken or frightening our experiences may be (were or will be), God is absolutely faithful to us. God’s love always protects. Always.

God will need to gently, strongly grow us up in our trust of Him so that we may understand His loving protection from an eternal perspective. When we experience hard and ugly times – cruel attacks to our bodies, our reputations, our relationships, our expectations – we usually react with feeling completely unprotected and unable to trust. Still, these eternal truths remain:

Love always protects, Love always trusts – I Corinthians 13:7

God is our protector. And God calls us to intentionally love others through protecting them – especially those in our most intimate relationships. In practical terms, it’s easy to see how this protective love should be expressed as parents towards our children. Love’s protection is to be offered in each of our relationships. First, and foremost, we are to tenaciously protect our relationship with our Lord Jesus. We are to lovingly, passionately protect our marriages, our unity and intimacy as a couple. We are to protectively love our families, friends, co-workers, neighbors and ourselves. This isn’t about agreeing with everything individuals may choose to do. It’s about honoring others as fellow image bearers of the Living God, so that we do not cause any one to feel unprotected or unable to trust us in any way.

Do our family members, friends, co-workers, neighbors feel lovingly safe in their relationship with us? In a world that offers so little protection to our hearts, minds, bodies and souls, do our most precious people know they can trust us and run into our protective arms of love? Or do they run for cover? Are we a safe harbor, a refreshing place of rest for others? Or do they feel like they’re walking on eggshells (or shards of glass) around us? Are they unable to trust how we will react to them? Do they feel unprotected because they’re not even sure which me…which you…they may meet up with today? Love always protects. Love always trusts.

Our highest and deepest way to demonstrate our love for God is to trust Him. Trust His Word. Trust His Spirit. Trust His Grace. Trust His Truth. Trust His Love. Trusting God is eternally bound up in how we live and in how we relate to others – right here and now. Right in the midst of our hardest and ugliest of times. Right in the midst of crushing and broken trust in our human relationships. God wants us to know and live in His protective, trustworthy love every day, every night – in every circumstance, in every experience, in every relationship.

As we grow in allowing God to truly be our first love, we will grow in our understanding of how love can, and does, always protect and trust. The more we love and trust God – who is the only, completely and constantly, protective and trustworthy One – the more we will be able to risk ourselves to love, to protect and to trust others. Love always protects, Love always trusts.