One of the many “To-Do’s” that I have had to accomplish for our upcoming move was to set up our gas and electric service to our new home in North Carolina. As it turns out, the complex is completely electric so no gas hookups are required. The company that supplies the electric power is called Duke Energy Progress. Even though I had never heard of the company, it turns out that they are the largest electric power holding company in the United States who supply and deliver energy to approximately 7.2 million customers.
As I continued to find myself studying from I Corinthians chapters thirteen and fourteen this morning, I learned of another source of energy that far surpasses the output and coverage of our new electric company! It is called the love of God! I Corinthians 13:7-8 in the James Moffatt translation tells us that the God kind of love is “always eager to believe the best, always hopeful, always patient,” and that it “never disappears.”
Something sparked in me as I read about the eagerness of love. William Barclay’s “New Daily Study Bible” states that “Love is the fire which gives the spark to faith, and it is the light which turns hope into certainty.” (The Letters to the Corinthians, Third Edition-2002 pg 148) That spark of faith is what zapped me when I came across Paul’s words to the church at Corinth in this particular translation. It also struck me that God’s love is full of energy and that is also takes energy for us to walk in it!
This revelation gave me some instant understanding of why it has been difficult for me to be around certain individuals over the last few years. I believe that I may have mentioned in past blogs that being around these folks is like being in a baseball game when the pitcher attempts to slow down a game when the opposing team’s momentum has picked up and they are beginning to hit the ball well and score runs.
I have always been an individual with a good ration of energy, and I enjoy being with folks who are active and full of life. That is probably the first thing that drew me to my wife back in High School! It is most likely why I have always enjoyed working with the youth and children of our church! The wife of our long time music minister once mentioned to my wife of how her husband and I were different in our music leadership styles. She described how I always liked to keep things moving with fast upbeat songs, while her husband preferred slower, more worshipful songs.
I’m sure that being a full blooded Italian has nothing to do with my energetic tendencies either! My cousins and I were talking about the loud and lively family gatherings that we had when we were kids just last week at our Easter dinner gathering! I guess energy has just always been a big part of my life! Whenever we meet with my wife’s family, it tends to be just the opposite. In my eyes, there is a definite quietness and slowness to the gathering, and lately it has gotten more pronounced as they sad over my wife’s condition and our move.
But, as I have learned, the love of God brings energy and hopefulness into any condition because our trust is firmly rooted in Him and the truth and condition changing power of His Word. Like I continually mention, I HAVE TO KEEP FOCUSED ON THAT WORD – OR ELSE THE PARTY’S OVER! Throughout His Word, God promises those who put their trust in Him a long and satisfying life! And you know what? That is exactly what I am expecting from Him!
So yeah, I am excited and expectant about the eagerness and energy that His love gives us! It is difficult for me to be around those who do not or cannot (at this point) share my excitement, but the love of God empowers me to walk in patience and not give up on them! After all the studying of I Corinthians chapter thirteen that I have done over the last week or so, I have come to believe that as Christians, we have a right to expect God to not give up on us, and as His representatives, we also have the responsibility to afford others the same courtesy! What do you think?
Barclay also said “In our dealings with others, however difficult and however unkind and hurting (or insensitive or irrational) they are, we must exercise the same patience as God exercises with us. Such patience is not the sign of weakness but the sign of strength; It is not defeatism but rather the only way to victory.” (pg 141 – parenthesis mine)
I have also come to realize (through personal experience…) that living the life of love as proposed by Paul and exemplified through the life of Christ, is not for wimps! So… suck it up and let His energy flow through you this weekend! After all, it’s fun to watch others get re-energized as His energy bounds off of you and onto them! Have a great weekend. Stay in tune to His Word, and keep asking yourself… “What or Who’s ENERGY am I expecting today?”