Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 1 Corinthians 13:7, NLT
Ever wanted to give up on someone? Just wave your hands in the air, accept defeat, and let them go on about their (usually destructive) business?
I know I have.
But something often stops me. Yes, I am a softy. My best friend tells me I am “too nice.” I have made it a personal goal to set some hard, fast boundaries around my limits and heart; but there are some things, God will not allow me to relinquish. Even though I want to just give up.
It reminds me of a story of another woman who was persistent in the saving. The Shunamite woman. Her story begins in 2 King 4, and she is not named, she is only listed in the King James Version as a “great woman,” and in other versions, as a “wealthy woman.” She had everything she needed, but one thing-a son. Elisha would come into town, and each time he did, he would come have dinner with the wealthy family, and the woman, knowing he was a man of God, made a place for him, a place for him to stay. She took such good care of him, she was promised a child; but then something happens to that child.
One day when her child was older, he went out to help his father, who was working with the harvesters. Suddenly he cried out, “My head hurts! My head hurts!” His father said to one of the servants, “Carry him home to his mother.” So the servant took him home, and his mother held him on her lap. But around noontime he died. She carried him up and laid him on the bed of the man of God, then shut the door and left him there. 2 King 4:18-21, NLT
She wanted him to be saved. To be healed. She loved him dearly. And you must believe, so did God. And sometimes this is where we end up wanting to give up. The desire to save becomes too much. Too much to carry. It seems we want it more at times than the other person, and we can even grow resentful, angry, and bitter. There are also times when we give so much of ourselves we can enable others not to seek their own saving.
And don’t get me wrong here, I realize I am talking about love today. And I am writing about not giving up. Not losing hope, remaining faithful and steadfast in love. But we can do this, and let go. We can do this and give those people back to God.
Did the Shunamite woman not do this with her son? Did she not love him simply because she carried Him to the one who could truly save Him, and let him go. Let God do His work?
But how do we do this? How do we continue to be faithful, hopeful, and loving; yet not give up on the people we just can’t carry any longer? How do we lay our burdens, our “sons” at the feet of Jesus?
We love by praying.
We continue to remain hopeful that God hears our pleas for their salvation. We do not give up praying that they seek truth and wisdom from Him.
This is how we demonstrate faithfulness and perseverance in love to those we just have to let go.
Never stop praying. 1 Thessalonians 5:17
Never stop. Don’t give up. Always remain hopeful that He hears you, and He cares about those you love.