And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.  But the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13 NIV

“It doesn’t make sense!”  Words that scream during our toughest battles.  Life is a series of disjointed chapters that seem upside down and backwards.  How do you unscramble the words to find truth?  How do you dig for treasure in a sea of blame? 

I walked into the waiting room where I sat 6 months earlier waiting when my husband fought for his life. Since his recovery, I had no reason to return.  Except a continuing nudge in my spirit that encouraged me to show up in this exact spot and wait.  So I did.  Walked through the familiar hallway and into the cold sterile room.  It was empty so I made my way to the back with my Bible on my lap and prayers on my lips.

A group pushed through the door weeping and screaming, “It doesn’t make sense!”  Alone in the corner I prayed without ceasing for this hurting family. Finally the yelling ceased and they sat motionless, completely drained.  

For a moment I hesitated, but the nudge was now a call to action, “Go pray with them,” so I went.  I knelt in front of them and asked, “May I pray with you?  You see, I was right here 6 months ago, praying for my husband and now God has asked me to pray with you.”  We joined hands and quietly welcomed the love of God to invade their hearts and minds.  We asked for wisdom for the doctors and nurses and for comfort to descend like a warm blanket on this family.  The prayer continued when suddenly a nurse interrupted, “The Williams family?  Is the Williams family here?”  The woman who held my hand replied, “Over here!”  “Your husband came through the surgery surprisingly well and the doctor said he will be out soon.”  Squeals of praise rang through the hallways!  Rejoicing broke out!  God reminded my heart at that very moment, above all, we love in the middle of the mess.

Paul and Peter were men of action.  They refused to sit around and sulk, they raced into the battle.  Both men learned the lesson that force, like cutting off a man’s ear, was not the best approach.  Yet they understood that thinking about the mess only creates a downward spiral.  Adjusting our gaze creates calm.  Fixing our focus produces peace.  But how do we get there?

Paul told the Corinthians that 3 keys are critical, faith, hope and love.  If we are going to unscramble the chaos, we must have faith that God is in control.  If we are going to thwart the enemy’s scheme to steal, kill and destroy we must put our hope in God’s promises.  If we truly want to make an impact, we must love.  Love God when He feels distant.  Love one another when it doesn’t make sense. 

Peter encourages us to take healthy action and love.  Above all else, love.  Above our own desires, love.  Above our fears, love.  Above our failures, love.  Above our faith, love.  Above our hope, love!  Why? Because if we love God and others deeply, healing begins.

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8 NIV
Lord, thank You for showing us what real love looks like. Will You teach us to love above everything else so that we can point others to You?  In Jesus’ Name amen.


Luann Prater

Executive Director and Founder of Encouragement Café Ministries
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