Love Is Not

Updated: Jun 23, 2021

I was just outside knocking the fire out of a tennis ball! I bought a little gadget online that keeps a tennis ball tethered to a water-filled container so the ball returns to you. It's a great tool to have if you need to release some anger.

I went down for prayer this past Sunday morning. I had the Joy of the Lord all over me! They had called out healing for liver and kidneys, which I am still, after years, struggling with. I stepped up to the praying couple with a huge, beaming smile on my face and told them I was there to pray for liver and kidney healing! I was asked the typical questions "Is there anyone you need to forgive? Are you holding on to bitterness and resentment?" I told them a bit of my ongoing healing journey in those areas, still smiling from ear to ear in an authentic gratitude for all the Lord has set me free from in these areas. Then the man said, "I just keeping hearing 'anger' over and over. That just keeps coming up and I feel you need to let the Lord deal with some anger you have." My big, bright smile instantly disappeared because...

That made me so angry!

I'm only half joking and my smile quickly returned. But the truth is, I have submitted myself to the Lord for healing in these areas for over 20 years now. It can initially seem so discouraging when someone still senses an issue like this that still needs more healing. I'm always willing to go in for more but I do initially get a bit frustrated with the whole thing. But here's the thing, once I sat with the Lord Monday morning it was the simplest instruction ever! It was even exciting to me! And it was so encouraging! Some people use the "onion peel" analogy when describing the healing process with the Lord. They say, "It's like the Lord has to peel the onion layer by layer." I always add to that, "Yes, and while He's peeling five layers off, life is still adding two at the same time." So, this is why I remain willing to be delivered from the bondage of things such as anger, over and over and yes, over again.

So, let me tell you the tennis ball trick. When I was going through the cancer healing journey, I lived in an apartment complex that had an amazing tennis court with a tall, cement wall that stretched the width of two courts. I used to play a game I called "wall ball" and I eventually came to understand that the Lord was leading me in it as a way of releasing years of deeply buried hatred, bitterness, resentment, unforgiveness and anger. I had to learn how to do this because I would find myself smacking the ball and aligning with anger instead of releasing anger. So, Monday morning as I was hanging out with the Lord and journaling His instructions, He reminded me of this and warned me to remember not to allow thoughts of things that make me angry while hitting the ball. So, instead of hitting it and saying "That makes me so mad!" which is counterproductive and destructive, I hit the ball and say "I RELEASE all anger from my body, mind, heart, spirit, etc." I can even say this in my mind and heart along with a strong exhale. It does not have to be verbal necessarily but just connecting with that statement will rid the body of trapped anger.

The second part of the instruction the Lord gave me was "Then, jump for joy! -and stay in joy! Live in joy! Find things to laugh about and things that fill you with joy! This is a recently revived and redeveloping instruction and habit the Lord has led me in. My joy is currently exponentially increasing as a result. I am so thankful for this because I am convinced it will actually greatly decrease, if not stop, the repeated need for dealing with anger like this. This past weekend I was having a text conversation with a relative about anger. This conversation reminded me of a funny - yes, doctrinally backwards, but still admittedly funny, old Lyle Lovett song. I had to share it so we could both get a good laugh over it. I'll get to the song in a minute. First, I want to talk about what love is not,

1 Corinthians 13 is known as the "Love Chapter" and here are some things it has to say,

Love is not envious. Love is not boastful. Love is not prideful. Love is not dishonoring. Love is not self-seeking. Love is not easily angered. Love is not delighted by or entangled with evil.

The Lyle Lovett song is written from the perspective of a man whose girlfriend has continually cheated on him and he's asking the questions, "Who keeps on trusting you ... and Who keeps on loving you..." The chorus goes on to say,

Well, God does but I don't God will but I won't and that's the difference between God and me!

This song cracks me up!! But, obviously I don't want to be that person. In context to 1 Corinthians 13, as well as 1 John 4:16 which I mentioned in a recent contribution to this blog series, those lyrics could be read "Well, Love does, but I don't. Love will, but I won't, and that's the difference between Love and me. But...

I don't want there to be a difference between Love and me!

While we're waiting on the release of the next song, "Adriane Elaine" we could take a moment to get a kick out of this Lyle Lovett song! Ha!



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