“I took my dog to the dog park during the Super Bowl and when I got home everyone was drunk and I thought, oh, that’s what I look like drunk. How ridiculous!” she said with a tone of resentment.
I smiled in response and commented, “Yeah, that’s why I don’t drink. I’ve never heard anyone tell me their life was better once they started drinking.”
“Yeah, I know” she responded. “My struggle with alcohol is why I’m in the process of getting a divorce.”
“I’m very sorry to hear that,” I told her.
“Thank you. I can’t change my past.” she sighed.
Several moments of awkward silence passed as we both pondered what to say next. Sadness had enveloped us both.
Then, with a prayer, I pulled out an invite card to my church and handed it to her. I said, “I’m a pastor and I want you to know I’m going to pray for you. I’m giving you this invite card because I know you can’t change your past but you can change your future. God loves you and he has a plan for your life. If you need anything you can reach out to me and I’ll do what I can to help.”
I can’t begin to describe the change that happened to her demeanor when I told her I was praying for her and that God really loves her. It was as if a weight was lifting off and hope was being restored.
I think she, like many, felt that she had made too many mistakes and God didn’t love her. She didn’t understand the power of God’s love.
In 1 Corinthians 13, often referred to as the love chapter, we have a description of what love is like between people. Although that’s true, the deeper meaning is how it depicts the way God loves us.
In 1 Corinthians 13:4 it says:
Love is patient, love is kind.
Here’s what we learn from 1 Corinthians 13 about the power of God’s love:
1. God’s love is patient.
It’s often hard to imagine a patient God when we are so impatient with each other. Our definition of God’s love is skewed because we think God will treat us the way we treat others. Thankfully, that’s not true.
Numbers 14:18 tells us the truth about God’s love:
‘The Lord is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion.”
Do you know what it means to be slow to anger? It means to be patient. You might not know it but God has been and is extremely patient with you. Why? Because he abounds in love for you.
2. God’s love is kind.
God could have left us to our own demise. Instead, he showed us immense kindness by sending us Jesus when we could not save ourselves.
Titus 3:4-5 tells us this:
When the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.
It’s a wonderful thing to show kindness to someone when they don’t deserve it. That’s exactly what God did for us. He shows us his great kindness through Jesus even though we don’t deserve it.
I don’t know what your past looks like. Chances are it’s ugly just like everyone’s. You can’t change it. The good news is you can change your future by surrendering to the power of God’s patient and kind love.
God has a plan for you!
Since these truths reveal to us the power of God’s love and demonstrate the way God treats us how should you be treating others?
Look up these verses to build your faith: