This past week with my 7th grade girls we have been studying scripture about relationships. The "task" for the week was to read 8-10 different verses and write what they were telling us about relationships.
For whatever reason the following verses struck a chord in me in a new way:
12My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. 14You are my friends if you do what I command. 15I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 17This is my command: Love each other.
I'm sure you recognize them....they are from John 15. This is one of my all-time favorite chapters in the Bible. "I am the vine, you are the branches...." "Remain in me...." Oh, I just love the truth that bleeds from this chapter. But, back on track, these verses about friendship and loving others just hit me at the core tonight.
I have 4 pretty great girls who are dealing with middle school just as we all have. Sure things have changed some but it all goes back to the whole "he said, she said, they said, I don't like him, I can't stand her, she is my bff........(you know the rest)." They struggle with where they belong and fitting in and trusting God and living out their faith.
Tonight, as we read John 15:12-17 my heart simply broke. It ached to help these girls realize how important it is to show love. It ached to open my eyes to the love that some of my very own students, friends, co-workers, and family need to see. God made more clear HIS unconditional love. Love that is so deep that he would come to earth and lay down his life for his friends.
I cannot comprehend that. I can honestly say that I'm not sure I would be willing to die for too many people, if any. I can also tell you that some days I don't feel like loving anyone, especially that difficult student or the stubborn family member or the kid that never stops talking or people who never have anything good to say. But, I know that is why God continually places them in my life. He is teaching me and growing me and molding me to be more like him.
To love like no other.