My husband and I were boarding the plane in Providence, Rhode Island when we received the distressing message that no grandparent wants to receive. Our precious granddaughter had fallen off a horse and was being taken by ambulance to the hospital. Our hearts ached as we learned that our sweet “B” would need pins in her elbow and wrist and twenty stitches in her chin. In this desperate situation, our initial reaction was to pray boldly and confidently with faith in God’s promises and his power.

As the hours slowly passed, we were able to arrive at “B’s” bedside before her orthopedic surgery and pray with her. The amount of love “B” received during and after the surgery was lavish. She received vibrant bouquets, many balloons, encouraging notes, and phone calls. Once “B" arrived home, precious friends Teresa and Leslie dedicated their time to coordinating a drive-by parade with “We love you, B” posters and creative and comforting gift baskets. Friends continued to pour into her life with daily visits, offering their prayers and support and gifting her with amazing care packages. We told “B” that the Lord was telling her, “I love you, I love you, I love you!”

As today’s verse says, if we truly know God, we will love others. John the apostle said that, in fact, the way everyone will be able to identify us as Christ’s followers is by the love we have for one another. (John 13:35) Love is the oxygen of the kingdom. “B’s” teachers, neighbors, and friends let Jesus love them and inevitably loved “B” with his unconditional love.

The Hebrew word for love is ahav, meaning “to desire or delight in.” God wants more than good deeds from us. He wants us to desire him above all else, and as we get to know and love him better, to share his love with others. If you're going to focus on something to grow your faith this year, try loving the people around you. Think about how you could actively show them God’s love, and depend on God’s Holy Spirit to empower you to take action.

Lord Jesus, I ask you to help me to love others the way you have called me to do. Teach me ways to demonstrate your love to the world. Thank you for your gracious and never ending love for me, and may I glorify you in all that I do. Amen.

Throughout this day: Listen to “Proof of Your Love”

by “King and Country”.