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Loving Perfectly

March 5, 2021

March 5, 2021 • Andrew Stevens

I grit my teeth and hang on to the saddle horn with a stubbornness that matches that of the horse I am riding. She jerks the reins from my grip and bucks, threatening to send me flying. Again. By the time my horse has finished her tantrum, I’m done. I dismount and unsaddle, my face burning with smashed pride. I think of every dollar I scraped together to buy her, the stack of horse-training books I faithfully collected, and the hours I spent mapping out a riding trail in the neighboring fields. I try to remember the joy I felt when I first threw my arms around the horse of my dreams. Now, all I feel is discouragement. How much more will I have to give before I get something in return—something like love? I untie the lead rope and shove open the gate of the corral. My mare gives a gentle snort and nudges my shoulder with her muzzle. “Oh, sure.” I push her away. “Now you want to be friends.” I walk a few more paces, then sigh and give in. “Fine.” I clamber onto her bareback, giving her one last chance. She trots aimlessly for a while, then pauses to munch on a tuft of grass. I sigh and lie down on her back, my head resting in the crook of my elbow as I stare up at the sky. A single star sparkles in the twilight. “If only every ride could be like this. Perfect,” I murmur. The thought barely slips my mind before another follows. "True love is learning to see the imperfect perfectly." Loving perfectly. Wasn’t that what Jesus did for me? Dying for me, when I didn’t deserve it. Saving me, though I so often don’t appreciate it. Even when I dig in my heels and try to take the reins, He guides me, corrects me, and loves me anyways. Despite my failures and imperfections, He loves me. And in that moment, I thank Him for it. I thank Him for seeing me, for loving me, just as He always has and always will. Perfectly. • Anita Seavey • Have you ever struggled to love someone when you get nothing in return? • In Christ, can anything separate us from God’s love for us (Romans 8:38-39)? • Even though we were sinners, God loved us enough to die for our sins (Romans 5:8). To put your trust in Jesus, check out our "Know Jesus" page. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8 (NIV)