Demonstrating Real Love

Kevin Ibanez

"Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."  Psalm 46:10

As I sat in the waiting room for outpatient surgeries at Kaiser Hospital in Fontana, a baby was crying loudly, waiting to go in for minor surgery (and I'll admit it, the crying was getting on my last nerve).  There was also an 87-year old man patiently waiting for his elderly wife to come out of surgery, as peaceful as could be.  Reflecting on everything that was going on all around me, the Holy Spirit reminded me of this verse as I sat in the waiting room, waiting impatiently.

In Psalm 46:10, the Psalmist writes, "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."

Though my wife had what would be considered "minor" surgery, she was still put under complete or general anesthesia.  This forced her to be dependent on others like doctors, nurses, machines that helped check her vital statistics, and even me to get her home and take care of her as she recovered.

This surgery forced me as a husband to slow down and truly tend to and take care of the needs of my wife.  So often we run through life, from work, to church, to school, to family functions, to ""fun" things, etc, but sometimes we just need to slow down and love on those that God has placed in our lives to love on.  It's easy to say, "I love you honey" and demonstrate this love by doing things for one another, but sometimes, the best present we can give to another and to our Lord is our presence.

Mary and Martha, friends of Jesus, were the ultimate example of what our Lord wants from us.  In Luke 10:38-42, Martha was running around trying to get all this "stuff" done for Jesus.  She became upset with her sister Mary who was sitting at the feet of Jesus, enjoying His presence.  Jesus said to Martha, "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed.  Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."

As someone who has strong Martha-like tendencies, I was reminded that we must all take time out of our "busy" days, and "be still" to hear our LORD's still small voice.  We must take time out of our crazy routines to slow down and choose to be present with God.  When we choose to do this, we have made the better choice.  Our hearts will be filled, and THEN we can give and serve out of the overflow of our hearts and not out of the reserve that was intended for us.  We may even find ourselves trying to give to God from the fumes of our hearts, and at that  point, it's almost too late; we may run out of "spiritual gas" all burned out, with nothing to give.  I know that for myself, I can easily try to give from this place if I don't slow down and connect with our Lord.

So, my first challenge to all of us is to slow down, sit at the feet of our Lord, listen, and let Him fill up our cup.  We must cultivate a friendship with Him and love Him with our precious times as He demonstrated His love for us by sending His only Son Jesus who stepped into our world to die for our sins, the ultimate act of love.

My second challenge is for all of us to slow down and to be present and engaged with the people that God has placed in our lives.  We will demonstrate real love for them by giving them one of the most precious gifts that we can give to anyone, the gift of our time and attention.

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