13 Sep 2018 Love in the Dark Valley
by Alexia Trapp |
Over the years, I have learned to become more conscious of what God is doing around me and to be more aware of His presence. I have slowly grown in discernment and in the ability to hear His voice. I am constantly on the alert.
Most often, my early sign for a glimpse of heaven is compassion. When I’m close to someone and feel unusual compassion for them, I know there’s a strong possibility a peek of heaven is breaking onto earth.
Jesus is moved with compassion when He sees anyone in need. He wept during his earthly life when He saw people hurting; He feels something now too, and so should we. Love is the language of heaven. Love that cares and moves to reclaim and redeem pain and loss. Love that draws others closer and then walks together with them. Christ is God wrapping His arms around the broken, and today on earth, He does that through His people. But are we as fervent and willing to reach out as He is?
Love is the language of heaven.
We need to ask God to make us continually available when opportunities to share and experience His love may be close to us. We all know the feeling—that uncomfortable yet gentle prompting inside. It’s like a pinching of our souls. Most of us try to ignore it, but we have no idea what we’re missing if we do.
We might be missing a taste of heaven itself.
We need to ask God to help us feel what others feel, to tune into the emotional states of others just as He does. Every day ask God for perception and vision. Pray for God to make you aware and be ready to carry His compassion to the people whose needs He reveals to you. It takes discipline and resolve to live an inverted life – it is a daily decision to be open to God’s leading, even if it feels uncomfortable. We should choose to practice growing deeper in our faith and love for others. The more we practice, the more it becomes the way we function, and it nourishes our hearts, giving us a foretaste of heaven to come.
We all know the feeling—that uncomfortable yet gentle prompting inside.
This is what my small-group church community has done for our family these past two months after the loss of our precious baby girl, Eden, whom we lost when she was one-month old. I love and treasure each of them and am so grateful to have them all walk alongside us through this dark valley. This year our family has discovered that having a connection with a small group is key to getting through life and finding community. It has been so comforting to know that God was faithfully preparing us to have these relationships established prior to experiencing such heartbreak. I trust and pray this for every Christian believer and those exploring the faith – we truly need each other.
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