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Today’s Truth

Give thanks to the God of heaven. His love endures forever (Psalm 136:26 NIV).

Friend to Friend

The doorbell rang, but I had absolutely no desire to answer it. I was desperately trying to withdraw from my world. It was too dark and too painful. I just wanted to be left alone.

Clinical depression was sucking the life out of me. I was seeing a counselor. I was also under the care of a psychiatrist who discovered I had a chemical imbalance that required medication. But it would be a long, hard road.

The doorbell rang again. I pulled the covers over my head, determined to outlast whoever was trying to work their way into my pain. It was easier to just surrender to the darkness than it was to struggle my way to the light.

The doorbell stopped ringing. Whew! I was so glad I had dodged that bullet.

Nope.

A loud knocking ensued … followed by the voice of Michelle, my best friend, declaring, “Mary, I know you are in there. I am coming in to clean your house, and I have groceries for you in my car. I don’t care what you or your house look like, but I am coming in one way or another.”

If it had been anyone else, I might have had a chance. But Michelle Johnson would bulldoze her way through the front door if necessary to get to me.

Love shows up.

Over the years Michelle has been “God with skin on” in my life so many times and in so many ways. She never has waited until I asked for help … she has just showed up to meet whatever need I have had in my life.

During the two worst years of my battle with clinical depression, Michelle did the things I could not do. She bought groceries, picked up cleaning, lined up meals, took our kids to buy soccer cleats, and just listened as I poured out my pain. Sometimes she called and invited me to walk the half-block down the street to her house. But some days that half-block might as well have been a thousand miles, so she came to me. Her friendship is a priceless gift.

Now that I think about it, some of my best friends are people who saw a need in my life and met it. In fact, the most precious friend I have saw my greatest need and met it in an amazing way!

Jesus looked through my sin and shame and saw my need. And oh, how He showed up!

God’s love compelled Jesus Christ to willingly exchange a throne for a manger, divinity for humanity, and Heaven for Earth – all for me. And all for you!

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16, NIV).

God’s love showed up.

God’s love showed up when David met Goliath. (1 Samuel 17)

God’s love showed up when Jesus went out of His way to meet the woman at the well. (John 4:1-42)

God’s love showed up when the Good Samaritan rescued a wounded man, a Jew, on the side of the road. (Luke 10:25-37)

God’s love showed up when the woman who had been doubled over in pain for 18 years met Jesus and was healed. (Luke 13:10-13)

God’s love changes everything and everyone who receives it. God’s love protects and breathes life and purpose into every minute of every day. God’s love is a gift beyond measure that surrounds us and covers us when life falls apart and even when life is good.

“Give thanks to the God of heaven. His love endures forever” (Psalm 136:26, NIV).

Do not believe the lies of the enemy when he tells you that your God has forsaken you. God is with you – Emmanuel. He endured the cross, completely, and alone because He loves you.

No one can take your place in the Father’s heart. God knows your pain and He understands. God created you and paid for your sin for one reason alone – He loves you. And true love always shows up.

Let’s Pray

Thank You for loving me, God. Honestly, I don’t understand that kind of love; a love that sent Jesus Christ to the cross so that I can live. But today, I celebrate Your love! Father, please help me learn how to freely share that love with the people in my world.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

Can you remember a time in your life when love showed up? A time when you didn’t even need to ask – He just came.

Click on the comment button and honor that person by sharing his or her name..

More from the Girlfriends

True love doesn’t collapse under pressure or fall apart in hard times. In her book, Hope in the Midst of Depression, Mary shares her story and explains how to define, discover, and experience unconditional love. Check it out!

Connect with Mary on Facebook or through email at mary@marysoutherland.com.

© 2021 by Mary Southerland. All rights reserved.

12 Responses to “When Love Showed Up!”

  1. Tiffany says:

    Love showed up this morning through my Dad, Tim. I’ve been struggling deeply mentally and emotionally and he wrote a message on my bathroom mirror calling me a masterpiece and a saint.

  2. Cathy says:

    My example of love showing up is the evening I found out I had breast cancer. I told my friend Judy my news on the phone and she told me she would come see me the next day. Just a short time later, there was a knock at my door and there she was. She said she just knew she had to come and hug me then! She did just that, as well as sharing my tears. I have never forgotten how much her love and concern meant to me that night!

  3. Beatrice says:

    I’ve Always seen GID talk through my Father now I’m starting to recognize him through countless others.

    Praise to the God of Heaven who delights us with Bananas Pineapples Squash Lemonade Yellow Bell Peppers! Love those yellow foods. Mary is a wonderful sister (58)

  4. Beatrice says:

    I’ve seen my Dad as Giddy at times but it’s GOD I’ve experienced talking through him. Sorry for typo lol

  5. Tiffany, I am so glad God’s love showed up through your dad. And that message he left? Absolutely true! Blessings!

  6. Cathy, what a gift you have in that friend. A lot of people don’t know exactly what to do so they do nothing. But so many times it is the simple things, like a hug – or just showing up. Praying God has restored your health! Blessings!

  7. It is always amazing to me the lengths God will go to in order to show us how much He loves us!!!

  8. Sue says:

    My neighbor Hazel, my friends Teresa, Belinda and Carolyn, my wonderful, loving husband Darrell, my children Wayne, Heather and Matthew, my pastor Garrett, my precious dogs Sparky and Buddy – these are just a few of the ones God has used to bless my life through good times AND bad. He reminds me every day that “every good and perfect gift is from God.”

  9. Ruth Yvonne says:

    In my darkest hour, after nights of trying to talk to my husband and trying to understand what made him so angry all the time, Jesus was there. All of a sudden the darkness lifted and an extreme joy filled me. I did not see Him, but He was there.
    My husband noted this too. Jesus’ beeing there has given me so much hope and the courage to keep going.
    The person who helped me when I needed it is Jesus.

  10. Marla says:

    Thank you, Mary, not only for this devotional, but also your book, HOPE IN THE MIDST OF DEPRESSION. It is one if the best books on depression from a believer that I’ve ever read. I appreciate your advice to look first at where you are physically by getting checked out by a MD. I believe that too often, Christians go first to the spiritual when physical illness impacts every other area of life.

  11. Sue, isn’t it great how God has shown His love to you! And how awesome that you have looked around and found those hand prints of God in your life. Keep going, friend. He is with you!

    Blessings!

  12. Melissa says:

    Julie is that person for me. She just shows up & helps me however she can. She’s been there through some of my darkest moments. Thank you Julie.

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"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well…" 1 Thessalonians 2:8