March 19, 2020
One week ago, everything was normal. One week ago, the world was disconnected and disengaged. People were separate entities that co-existing in the same world but content to be in their own bubble.
We went about our daily lives living peacefully, unaware and self-consumed, while the rest of the world was doing the same. Then God, in all His glory, decided we needed to be aware of our neighbors. So today, we are learning to love our neighbors the way God intended. While It only takes one person to spread a virus, the same can be said it only takes one person to spread hope and love.
God commanded us to love Him and to love your neighbor as yourself. Without agape love, none of the other commandments matter. So how do you love in such a grand way?
"If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen."- 1 John 4:2
I used to walk around this Earth “loving” people who loved me and who were there for me. In my head, I was doing what I was supposed to do. God decided to show me I had no idea how to love as Jesus loved. He did so by giving me my children. Only when I had kids, did I genuinely learn agape love and how that projects to the world. Never in my life had I loved someone so wholeheartedly when they couldn’t meet my needs or love me in the way I needed to be loved, I didn’t skip a beat. Loving your children is the easiest way to describe agape love especially as teenagers. These human beings you created and gave your life for are utterly selfish but no matter how you feel, the love you have for them doesn’t decrease. In fact, for me, it increases because I know they need me more even if it hurts to me to do so. This is how we are commanded to love our neighbors; to love self-sacrificially. Loving God’s beautiful creations in this way, shows God that we love Him most.
I am a problem solver and a fixer. I cannot sit still too long because I know there is so much to be done. I had to learn in a very traumatic way I have no control of events, people, outcomes, anything! God kept whispering repetitive words in my ear until finally I understood. “Be still”. All He was asking me to do was be still and know all He would do. Sitting still, taking Him in, soaking Him up, developing intimacy with Him; this is how you love God with all your heart.
I look back at things I used to save on social media for me to look at later. I look at things I save now. I can tell you my heart is in a completely different place and having the tangible evidence of growth in my heart breathes life into my soul. I can see my love for God. I can see it and I know others can, too, without a doubt in my brain. The thoughts which involuntarily consumed my mind have shifted from “what if” to” I know. “My heart and my mind molded into one unique organ rather than toxically functioning separately. Your words and your life should speak the same language; your soul language. When your soul language becomes a verbal and visual transcript of your discussions with God internally and externally, you are loving Him with all of your soul and mind.
I am a strong-willed, strong-minded and strong-bodied individual and have always prided myself on being so until I heard the word “weak” over and over. I had no choice but to redefine strength for myself so I could live up to the adjective God called me to be. I had to lay down my coveted “strength” and pick up Jesus in order to become stronger. My strength today exceeds any act of bravery I have ever performed. To live in this world and to sacrifice things that could be gained from God’s blessings, is to love God with all our strength.
One week ago, everything was normal. Unfortunately for me and you, normal isn’t and will never be good enough. We are called to love when we don’t feel loved. We are called to love when we have nothing to offer. We are called to love like Jesus loved us. We are called to love God by loving others with agape love before any other commandment. Let’s be the new normal!
Multiple - March 15, 2020
Neighbors | Love God
From Series: "All Messages"
My name is Aubrey Ausler. I have 4 lovely teenagers and a dog named Frog! I get to teach kinder babies every day and most days love my job. I love to read and write and see the sunshine. I am in love with words! I am a child of God who is growing and learning every single day!