The book of Revelations starts with messages to seven churches. And the very first message really touched my heart. It was to the church of Ephesus.
It said, “I know your deeds, your hard work and perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first.” (Rev. 2:2-5a)
As I was reading this I could almost see the Lord saying these things. And I imagine how lovingly He said it. The Lord says: I know everything. I see your tears and your sufferings. I see your efforts. I know life is not easy for you. I know the things you have to go through to still go on. I know it all, and I suffer with you and feel all the pain that you have. But let Me help you. Remember the way you loved Me when you first met Me? Remember the time of your first love to Me, when everything was so simple, when there was nothing you would not do for Me? Remember the joy we have shared? Please, don’t walk away from it.
To me it seems that the Lord is more concerned for our love to Him. He knows everything we face, and He knows how hard our lives are. And He is there to help us through, to lead us and encourage us.
But then He looks us right into the eyes and says: Please, could you just love Me the way you did it first? Could you again do the things you did first? I love you.
This life is not easy for us; we do have to endure many things. And it would seem funny that the Lord asks us not to forsake our first love. I don’t really know how to say it; the Lord does not rebuke us for doing all those things, He encourages us to go on. But He knows the right way to go on. And this is the way of love. Love should tell us what to do. If we don’t have love, everything else is not important. The Lord gently tells us: Come back to your first love, this is the only way to continue.