No greater love.

Today I had an incredible cup of coffee… actually, it was a hazelnut white mocha latte, and it was from this little downtown coffee shop called Drip.

To be honest, the first thing it made me think of was how much I’m starting to prefer local coffee places to Starbucks. You may say I’m a hipster, but I’m not the only one.

Along with a quick nod to Lennon, today’s coffee outing also gave me a small glimpse back to this summer. While at Drip, I spent a large amount of time writing thank-you notes to my supporters, many of whom joined my ministry team this past October. There was so much going on that I hadn’t gotten the chance to thank them properly, so I was catching up on my etiquette “to-dos.” A few of my supporters are friends from my Summer Project, and writing their thank-you notes was more like writing a summary of my novel-length feelings about our friendships.

Not a day goes by when I don’t think about my SMSP friends, even if it’s just a fleeting thought. Knowing someone, really knowing a person, usually carries with it thoughts that seamlessly attach themselves to things. For instance, whenever I see Yoo-Hoo, I think of Devin. Gummy bears make me think of Rozie. Anything about bears makes me think of Holly and our Day Three adventure. Harry Potter makes me think of Faith. Russia makes me think of Seth. Hipsters make me think of Brian. Mullets make me think of Ed. I could go on and on and on; I’m not joking.

And every time I think of them, I thank the Lord for the summer the 36 of us shared. I don’t think I could ever begin to describe how the Lord blessed us with such an unbelievable group. There are so many factors that went in to all of us being on project, and the Lord orchestrated it all. Nothing is too complicated for Him, and nothing is too tedious for Him. He brought all of us together, and He cultivated the friendships we share. He has kept our relationships strong and grounded in Him, and He uses our bonds to encourage us and draw us closer to Himself. If heaven is more wonderful than the most wonderful things we can imagine, than I can’t wait to get there to see how awesome it’ll be to fellowship in heaven with other Christians, because the friendships we share from SMSP are just a preview.

It’s comforting to know that our God is sovereign over all of our friendships and that, as much as all of us from SMSP’11 love each other, He loves us even more.
I was watching a spoken word clip on youtube just a minute ago about how much God loves us. He sent His Son, Jesus, to die for us. Jesus died selflessly, taking on our brokenness, so that we could be united with Him in heaven. We don’t have to change the way we are because, as I’ve said before, He loves us just the way we are, but too much to leave us that way. He is the only One who can make us more holy as He is Holy. We can’t do it without Him. But it’s also comforting to know that, though it might be hard, it’s totally possible, and totally rewarding, with Him.

This is the promise we have in Christ.

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