I haven’t been able to blog lately because the words just haven’t been there. My thoughts are across the country with family in Sacramento, and I’m having trouble stringing together meaningful words. It’s an unusual situation for me, considering words usually spring from my heart and my funny bone at the slightest poke.
Yet, as I wait for news, five powerful words circle my heart. They have become the only words that matter to me lately, and as I ponder them I realize they represent the only concepts that have mattered to millions of people throughout the generations.
The first two words are “friends and family.” When life is stripped to the bare minimum, friends and family are still there. When we’re no longer concerned about finances, housekeeping, physical fitness, status, retirement, or earthly belongings, we look at those around us and realize friends and family are all that matter.
The next three are also grouped together, and not just in an Alan Jackson song. They are “faith, hope, and love.” I’ve wondered through the years how anyone can claim that, of the three, love is greatest, but I think it’s sinking in this week.
Faith is an essential element. We all put our faith in something, whether in God’s mercy and providence or in our own ability to keep our lives on track. The strength of our faith builds or erodes as we receive evidence of its trustworthiness.
Hope sustains us. It is a desire we harbor deep inside that our faith is well placed. For those who have put their faith in God, hope keeps us from despair in troubled times and makes it possible for us to experience what the Bible refers to as “a peace that passes all understanding.”
But love, well now, that’s a grand concept, is it not? Love can be given, received, taught, revealed, demonstrated, and treasured. Love can heal, comfort, encourage, inspire, and even save someone’s life. Love is the answer. Love makes the world go around. Love is alive. In fact, I can go on listing music titles for pages and never hit them all.
Yet, none of that tells me why love is the greatest of the three, so here’s my best shot at it:
One day, you see, although they will endure until the end of time, one day there will no longer be a need for faith or hope. Only love. Regardless of what you believe or hope is keeping this world on its axis, there can only be one truth. I place all my faith in God’s promise that the truth is He is Love.
God is love, and God is eternal, so love is eternal.
Willa, your family loves you, and that’s a truth for all eternity.
“And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.” — 1 Corinthians 13:13