We try to show love, and, finding we have none, ask the Lord for love. Then we are surprised that he does not seem to give it to us… You were surely not wrong in seeking love from God? No, but you were wrong in seeking that love as something in itself, a kind of package commodity, when what God desires is to express through you the love of his Son…
We have been accustomed to look upon holiness as a virtue, upon humility as a grace, upon love as a gift to be sought from God. But the Christ of God is himself everything that we shall ever need.
Many a time in my need I used to think of Christ as a Person apart, and failed to identify with him in this practical way with the ‘things’ I felt so strongly the lack of. For two whole years I was groping in that kind of darkness, seeking to amass the virtues that I felt sure should make up the Christian lie, and getting nowhere in the effort. And then one day – it was in the year 1933 – light broke from heaven for me, and I saw Christ ordained of God to be made over to me in his fullness. What a difference! Oh the emptiness of ‘things’! Held by us out of relation to Christ they are dead. Once we see this it will be the beginning of a new life for us. Our holiness will be spelled thereafter with a capital H, our love with a capital L. He himself is revealed as the answer in us to all God’s demands.”
Sit, Walk, Stand, Tyndale House, 1957/1977, 36-8