In the back of my mind I always had this idea (and still do) of what living like Jesus would look like and what the outcomes would look like as well.
I mean if you love others, open up your heart to others, give your all, or what you perceive to be your all, to others, surely they will be trustworthy, faithful, and return the same kind of love to you, right?
But if we are honest, if we look at the Bible, at the life of Jesus, was this always the case?
No, in fact, this is never the case in the life of Jesus. People fail. We have all fallen short of the glory of God, we have all rejected Him, we have all been unfaithful. We have all kept our hearts, souls, and love from Him.
Yet, we expect different results when we choose to live like Jesus.
We expect that, even though the King of ALL suffered and was rejected even when He loved relentlessly and unconditionally and even died for those who betrayed Him, we wouldn't face that same kind of heartbreak.
Lately, Jesus has been teaching me what it really means to love like Him, to be made like Him.
I have been praying more and more everyday for Jesus to make me more like Him... to give me His love, peace, comfort, joy, understanding, courage, wisdom, guidance, passion, compassion, etc. yet when I come to these less-than ideal situations in my life, like the so-little-of-faith human I can be, I come defensively running towards Him saying, "God, why would You allow me to go through this? Why would you let this heartbreak enter my life? What are you doing?!"
And He ever so gently, so lovingly says, "My daughter, look back at my Word. Was my life always pretty? Did everyone always love me? My child, I have so much more for you than average. In the suffering, in the servanthood, in the rejection, I make you more like Myself."
Oh... I see now, God.
This past season had felt like a big 'ole punch to the gut with rejection. People I had loved so deeply, had such close relationships with, memories with, who I trusted the most vulnerable parts of me with, had just vanished. Just like that. They were just gone, without a real goodbye, without a true explanation of why they no longer wanted me in their life like I wanted them, but just gone.
"You know how much this person meant to me God! You know the love I have for them, the prayers I constantly prayed over them, the life I had planned with them.." etc. etc. insert more human complaints here...
How many times have I done this to Jesus in my life? How many times have I rejected my Creator, the One Who knows every single little detail about me, every intimate, every ugly, every fearful detail of my heart, the One who created me from the inside out, knows every sin, every pain, every joy, every shame, Who knows ALL of me yet still loves me UNCONDITIONALLY?
The tinge of pain I had felt from the rejection of someone I loved was only a small drop in the ocean of heartbreak my Jesus has felt from me, and not only me, but the WHOLE universe.
We so underestimate the suffering of Jesus. We so don't even understand our misunderstanding of how truly deep, heart-wrenching, and selfless the love of our sweet Jesus is.
Oh Lord, everyone's whole lifetime of heartbreak combined could never even amount to in the slightest the pain you feel when just one of your children reject you. Yet you still love us.
How sweet it is to know that He desires us still.
Love is often not associated with pain or rejection, but true love, love that this world does not understand, that it cannot comprehend, is the sacrificial, relentless, unconditional, and unending love of Jesus Christ himself.
To be like Him, is to love like Him. To love like Him, is to suffer like Him. To suffer like Him, is to be made more like Him.
Does God want us to suffer/live in pain? No. But does He want us to experience His love in a deeper, more intimate way? Yes. So when you are rejected or heartbroken, just remember that Jesus, the greatest of all, experienced these pains deeper than you could ever experience in your whole lifetime. And He will use that pain to draw you closer to Him and make you more like Him.
Are you going through a painful time in your life? Then you are in good hands. Look to God, the Author and Perfecter of our faith, He will show you His goodness and faithfulness even through the heartbreak.
To love like Jesus does not always look the way we expect it to, but it is so much more beautiful.
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart." Hebrews 12:1-3
"For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps." 1 Peter 2:21
"And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering." Romans 8:17