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God *is* Love.

Can we agree that daily life can be overwhelming?

A Devotion by Cecilia Amorocho Hickerson

God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them.”

- 1 John 4:16b

Can we agree that daily life can be overwhelming? Our lives are full of obligations and complications. We strive to stay on top of everything and sometimes we feel we’re anywhere but on top. Trying to balance being present and engaged at home, at work, in the church community and in our social circles and be challenging - and we aren’t always successful.

When we’re feeling overextended and inadequate, the commandment to love one another can be more than we can bear. There are times when we don’t feel loving or kind or charitable; when we do what must or what we should, but not enthusiastically. We will behave patiently and politely, we will smile and extend a helpful hand, but not with a dollop of “God loves you and so do I” on top.

I’m so glad God is patient with me. When I am worn out and overextended and not really wanting to let love guide my actions, a thought eases its way through the tangle of competing thoughts in my head, and I remember the message found in 1 John: God is love (4:16b). God is with me, within me, loving me even when I feel unloving and unlovable. And if God is in me, so is love. If God loves me, God’s love can reach others through me, in spite of my frantic attempts to handle everything on my own and according to my own set of standards.

Why do I assume that my interactions only count as loving if I am smiling and jovial? Parents, family members, caregivers, coworkers and friends all know that love doesn’t rely on cheerful vibes. Acting in love may mean tending to boring, unpleasant, grueling, maddening or agonizing situations. Maybe your colicky baby kept you up all night and you’re on the verge of tears trying to get her to go to sleep. Maybe I am exasperated because my elderly parent keeps forgetting to take the daily medicine that I set out.

Through the fog of your fatigue and in spite of my frustration, we continue to care for those who need us. We aren’t obligated or required to do everything in love. Rather, we are free to let ourselves do everything in love. In and through our God who loves us, we can.

Cecilia Amorocho Hickerson is a mother, spouse, church musician, artist and writer living in Louisville, Kentucky. This Devotion appears in Horizons, The magazine for Presbyterian Women, Summer 2024 edition. Reprinted with permission.


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