Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (1 Cor. 13:7)
Hannah waited until I’d finished saying goodbye to the crowds after one of the Christmas Eve services. Walking over to her I could see she was in great distress. Her fiancé, Jake, had been in a major car accident that afternoon. After picking up her engagement ring—which he was going to give her on Christmas Day—someone had plowed into him. She didn’t know if he was going to live.
About a week later Jake emerged from his coma. Although the doctors said he would live, they weren’t clear if he would fully recover.
During the next year Hannah worked to bring Jake back to life. She helped him learn how to walk again, assisted with his speech therapy, and exercised his broken body. She coached him, challenged him, and wouldn’t allow him to give up.
During his rehabilitation, Jake would sometimes tell Hannah that she was free to find her life with another man, a man who might be more whole than he might ever be. She refused and got angry with his suggestion. She said she loved him, for better and for worse, and that he had to accept her unrelenting love.
Eighteen months after Jake’s accident we gathered in church for their wedding. What a day of celebration and joy!
After Paul’s chapter on love in 1 Corinthians 13 had been read, I stood up to preach. As I looked at Hannah and Jake, I felt like I didn’t really have much more to say to them about love. They had already been living into the love that Paul had proclaimed. They had indeed “endured” all things and had prevailed.
The love that Hannah and Jake shared made them better, stronger, and more mature people. Their love inspired all who knew them.
That’s what love does. That’s why Paul says that love is the greatest gift.
During those months of rehabilitation, Hannah and Jake drew from and were encouraged by the love Jesus had for them. His love made them strong. May the love of Jesus do the same for us.
- Hannah and Jake wouldn’t have been able to endure if they hadn’t drawn from the love of Jesus. How do you draw from and rely upon His love for you?
- Hannah and Jake grew, deepened, and matured through all that they had to face. What have been the challenges in your life that have caused you to grow, deepen, and mature?
- Paul says that love is the greatest gift. We know that. Is there any work you need to do with those you most love?