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534. Love Like It's Yours! May 2, 2024



KEY SCRIPTURES:1 KIngs 3:16-28

24 And the king said, Bring me a sword. And they brought a sword before the king. 25 And the king said, Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one, and half to the other. 26 Then spake the woman whose the living child was unto the king, for her bowels yearned upon her son, and she said, O my lord, give her the living child, and in no wise slay it. But the other said, Let it be neither mine nor thine, but divide it. 27 Then the king answered and said, Give her the living child, and in no wise slay it: she is the mother thereof.


RELEVANCE

I heard a story that challenges the heart of every professing Christian.


Imagine, if you will, two tribes in the majestic Andes Mountain Range. One perched high in the mountains, the other at the base. These tribes would occasionally clash. The mountain tribe, with its superior skills, would descend upon the other, murdering, pillaging, and stealing women and children. 


On one occasion, the tribe came down and stole a little girl from one of the other tribe's mothers. The woman cried out to her tribesmen to please help get her child back. All the men got together and tried to climb this mountain.


For days and days, they tried every way they could, but they didn't have the abilities of the higher tribe and failed each time. 


They were about to give up when they saw the mother coming down the mountain with her child. 

"How on earth did you ever get up there and get your child? We couldn't figure out how to even climb up."


She replied, "Very simply, It wasn't your child!"


Everything seems impossible when we look at the obstacles. We fool ourselves into thinking we're trying really hard when the truth is, we're only hoping for an outcome. But when your desire changes from an I-want to a must-have, all of the obstacles disappear. 


There is a famous proverb we've all heard: "It takes a village to raise a child," and many will agree. But we find out whose child it is when the call goes beyond raising the child to protecting or rescuing it. 

This story reveals a little bit about ourselves. We are confronted with our limit of sacrifice for someone else. 


The tribesmen, who would gladly help parent the child under normal village conditions, had limitations on their love. It took the village to raise the woman's lamb, but when the lamb became lost in the thicket, only a parent's love searched until it was found. Is this not the love Jesus impressed upon us in His missing sheep illustration? If we're to follow Christ, at what stage do we choose to inherit the love of complete selflessness? 


Solomon's famous judgment over the child in our key scripture would have been far more challenging had the other woman the same love for the child as the mother.


We might be inclined to say that depth of protective love could never be imparted to one who is not blood kin. However, looking at the love Jesus displayed by dying on the Cross for other people shows that we can go beyond our usual human limits and fears. Many people have knowingly laid down their lives in utter selflessness, whether Christian or not.  


This question of perfect love has gnawed at me for years. If someone else's child ran onto the road in front of a vehicle, would I sacrifice myself to save it? Would I displace my own inadequate sympathies to live the heart-wrenching cry for help of another parent? 


PRAYER

Dear Lord, I see the mother's love extended beyond all limits. Not only had she found a way around every obstacle, but she was determined not to return without her daughter. This story reinforces the love both You and Jesus have for me in your efforts to bring me home.

Photo by Liv Bruce

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