“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” (Deut. 6:5)
Another Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and always a good reminder of God’s unfailing love for us. Our finite minds cannot even begin to comprehend the vastness of God’s eternal love for His children. When we are chronically ill and/or in pain, it is easy to feel that God is very distant and apathetic to our prayers, but nothing is further from the truth. Many verses in Scripture communicate God’s great love for us (Eph. 1:1-14; I Jn. 3:1; Jn. 3:16; Exodus 20:6; Psalm 23:6; Psalm 103:11).
Recently, I read an excellent biography written by Sharon James, a British author and conference speaker, about Elizabeth Prentiss. Elizabeth was a very gifted and godly woman who lived during the 1800’s and was also a pastor’s wife. She sought to communicate, through her novels and writings, about the joy of surrendering every detail of our lives to God and fully embracing His Sovereignty.
Through much sickness and other tragedies in her own life, including the loss of her first two children, Elizabeth was convinced that suffering, for the Christian, is Christ’s school whereby we learn more of God’s love primarily because we must depend more on Him. The deepest longing in Elizabeth’s heart is reflected in the hymn she wrote titled “More Love to Thee.” The third stanza reads:
Let sorrow do its work, send grief or pain;
Sweet are Thy messengers, sweet their refrain,
When they can sing with me,
More love, O Christ, to Thee,
More love to Thee, more love to Thee!
Years of chronic illness and pain can diminish our love for Christ if we let it. However, our trials of sickness can also draw us closer to Christ through our daily dependence on Him. Growing in love for Christ is a life long process and we will never achieve it perfectly in this life. But, like Elizabeth’s, I want the deepest cry of my hear to be, “More love, O Christ, to Thee!”
What about you?
Prayer: Thank You, Jesus, for loving us and help our love for You to grow stronger through the trials of life! Amen.
About the author:
Tammi Rhoney and her husband, Todd, recently adopted a new member to their family, a miniature dachsund named Mini. Tammi enjoys the company that Mini provides during the day and smiling at her antics.