Have you ever been loved in theory?
Perhaps it was romantic relationship gone sour once “I love you.” had to turn into “I am there for you.”
Maybe it was the parents that said them but never made a game.
Maybe it was the friend that said so many words but would somehow always manage to escape the times of grief.
Theoretical love is a hard garment to wear.
Yet, the clothe is easy to find and many of us know the fibers.
It is easy to assume God’s love is theoretical, an abstraction and something like the ill fitting garments we find so easily in this world. Yet, God’s love is practical – not in the sense that we understand it or it is simple but in the sense that it is practiced. God practices His love.
Here are three ways God practices His love:
- He Hears
We’ve all encountered the burden of not being heard. It is easy to sit with someone, speak words, only to realize their mind is far away. The words reach their ears to be sure, but they are not hearing you. Throughout the Old and New Testament we have a glorious picture of a love that first hears His people. And here’s something mysterious, He hears beneath the words. He hears you.
2. He Sees
In our media rich (or impoverished) age, many are flailing their arms, looking for someone just to stop, see them, acknowledge their joy and hurt, and recognize the flailing. One of my favorite moments in Jesus’ life is when he tells Nathan, “I saw you while you were under the fig tree…”(John 1:48). Jesus continues to tell Nathan not just where He has been but where Nathan is going. Practically, you and I are seen deeply everyday.
3. He Acts
Here’s where many of us have experienced the failing of human arms. We do not desire another ear, or eye or a simple bystander. We desire a God that acts. And He has, and He does, and He will. Perhaps the simplest example of this beautiful reality is the flesh God put on. Christ not only came to us, He came to us with the same clothes and burdens and fears that we know by name. He came to us in flesh. This is a God that acts.
This is not a theoretical love.
This is not a theoretical God.