I wrote this post for Women Connect last week – it’s a little bit of a follow on from my last post Love is Sweet so I thought I would share it here.
A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity. Proverbs 17:17
Love – well its more actions than words isn’t it? And sometimes seeing love up close in action well – it’s astounding. A few weeks ago I saw love in action in a big way. It wasn’t grandiose or loud or self seeking. It was everything the opposite – a labour of love – it was people, serving and doing and continuing to do even when they were tired and sweaty and hadn’t drunk enough coffee. People motivated purely by love and a desire to serve and be a blessing and help make something special happen.Love – it takes all shapes and forms and that day I saw it moving furniture around, carrying boxes, unloading cars, setting up tables, hanging lights, ironing tablecloths, arranging flowers and a hundred other things. People determined and generous in giving there time and energy and staying the course with a shared purpose in mind. A moment and a day to come together to serve and to celebrate.
Friendships are sealed
Family is forged
It was humbling and inspiring.
And I saw this.
He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love. Ephesians 4:16 NLT
On that lovely day, as in life, there are those – thank God – who join in and run along beside you and who keep you running till your reach your destination. In fact they run ahead and show you the way when your slowing down and not sure your gonna make the finish line. And it’s not in them to bow out half way through, they stay the distance. Those ones – they save your life, they are worth more than gold. These are the ones I want with me when things get tough, when the rubber hits the road, when adversity comes. They don’t go when the going gets rough, they move in closer, they do more, they stay long and I’ll be forever grateful that God has given me those kind of people in my life.
And then there are those on the sidelines – those who cheer you on, urging you forward, handing you coffee and water and whatever else you need, offering words of encouragement and doing what they can but in fact do far more than they know.
Every part doing their part. And with this sort of unity I know we can move mountains, I know we can overcome in this life.
“so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other” Romans 12:5
And it reminded me too that I was treated like family long before I felt like I was family. The love and generosity shown to me when we first moved here to Wollongong stays with me. Ethan – just a little thing then – in hospital for weeks with a broken leg and Olivia on the way. There were women from our church – and others – who hardly knew me but who gathered around and visited in the hospital, and brought food and drank coffee with me and prayed and talked and kept us company and then brought more food again – for weeks. That kind of love you don’t forget. That kind of love changes you.
And Success is showing up and kneeling down. Success is faithfulness, success is faithfully showing up, success is faithful obedience, success is service, success is kneeling down to serve and going lower and decreasing, so He is lifted higher and He alone increases: Success is showing up and kneeling down. (Ann Voskamp)