“I love you forever and ever – times infinity and beyond.” The words still ring clear in my mind. Just a boy and a girl so in love with no idea what the future would hold.
None of us really know what the future will hold. We make plans and have great ideas for our futures but too easily forget that God is in control. We too quickly dismiss the fact that God’s plans are rarely our plans. We don’t trust that his plan for us is greater than anything we could ever plan for ourselves. We don’t like that God’s timing is not our timing. We may never understand what has happened in our lives, but God does promise that he will use everything in our lives for His greater glory if we let him. “For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.” (1 Corinthians 1:25). Everything in our lives has a purpose and every cross we bear is a chance for us to grow closer to God and experience his great love for us.
Looking back at the naive high school love I shared makes me smile because we allowed ourselves to believe the best. We believed that the good times would come and the bad times wouldn’t be so bad. We had no idea what was in store for us.
Years later the storms would come. They would shake us and change us in ways we could never have anticipated when we first fell in love in high school. The trials were real and the challenges bigger than we ever imagined. Through the storms there was one thing that held us anchored – God.
When the times were tough God said,”I am with you.”
When we felt like we were drowning God said, “I will save you.”
When we were lost and didn’t know what to do God said, “I will lead you.”
And when I didn’t know what to do next, God simply said, “dare to be love.”
We all start out so optimistic when starting a new relationship. We think the other person can do no wrong and would never hurt us. We think we are a team – Bonnie and Clyde – and together we are invincible – nothing can touch us, nothing can stop us. This childlike vision for being together is that everything is perfect and always will be.
Though the good times may be great and many, the bad times will definitely come. Although our journey together hasn’t been as peaceful or easy as we thought when we were kids who had just fallen in love, the trials have given us opportunities to grow into greater people than we ever thought possible. The storms brought us blessings and a future we could never have dreamed of on our own. With God as the anchor we can navigate any storm.
Those words we said so long ago are the anchor because God is love. We didn’t know it then, but those words mean everything. Those words are God’s call for our lives. Those words, when lived out, give life to us and to those around us. Those words mean that you choose to love through the good and the bad times.
God calls us to a childlike faith in him – a simple faith that trusts and believes in all things. I think for love to last we need that childlike love. Too often our view of love and our loved ones gets distorted by our adult reasoning and distrust. We need to remember to be like children in love and hope and believe in all things good, even in the midst of the storms. Those words are a simple promise that has extraordinary results. We promise to simply love no matter what. That love will radically change our lives. We need to always remember and live out those words we promised each other when we were just kids: “I love you forever and ever – times infinity and beyond.”