By Carol Schuller Milner
Today my message, Love
Believes, continues on in the series about love that
my father and brother are sharing, taken from 1 Corinthians 13.
We are offering a beautiful tea set on which all the attributes
of love are printed on the bottom of each piece...
"the greatest of these is love"...
"love endures"... "love rejoices"... "love
never fails"... "love is patient"... "love
is kind"... and "love believes!"
1 John 4:8 tells us
that "God is love."
IF... God is Love and IF...
Love believes... then what does God
believe? He believes in me and He believes in you.
Since God is love, that means that love believes in you and love
has marked you and identified you.
I was never a great country music fan, but one day I was with
my family in the middle of the Rocky Mountains looking for a radio
station. The only station that came in was country... and the
Dixie Chicks were singing "Wide Open Spaces."... I liked
this song. Now I have a country station programmed into my car
radio! I really like Jessica Andrews. She sings a song, "Who
I Am." That hit me as I realized, I know who
I am! Love has marked me because
love believes in me. God believes
Eight years after my
motorcycle accident, which resulted in the loss of my left leg,
I said, "I do" to the most incredible man. He is really
good looking. I thought, "Whew-ew! I won!" He has a
heart of gold. We have now been married for 16 years. Only six
months after we were married I thought I might be pregnant. I
was so disappointed - we had had a short engagement and a short
courtship, and I thought, "But I don't want to share him
yet. It's not fair." I was depressed and I didn't want to
go to the doctor and find out that I was pregnant. My husband
had a landscaping business and I wanted to be with him all the
time so I would go with him to his jobs and help him. One day
I was sitting in his truck, feeling depressed and not wanting
to help when all of a sudden the Lord spoke to my heart with a
passage from Isaiah 40:11: "I gently
lead those who are with young."
That spoke to my heart
as I realized God's heart for children and for being a mom and
dad. And I realized, "Oh, how can I not embrace that?"
I went to the doctor for tests and was ready to hear the news...
only to find out I wasn't
pregnant. Now I was so disappointed. My husband was confused and
said, "I don't get it. You were scared to be pregnant and
now you are bummed that you're not?" I just replied, "But
I want to now." It wasn't too many months later when our
daughter, Rebecca, was conceived. She is going to be 15 in a few
weeks. Now we have four children! After my fourth child my mother
told me something which she had never spoken of before... when
I had my motorcycle accident there had been so many internal injuries
they did not know whether or not I would be able to have children.
God was good to me... I have learned so much about the heart of
God through being a parent.
Eric Ericson who is
the father of much of our modern psychological thought and theories
said something very interesting. He said, "A baby does not
nurse because it trusts its mother. No, it is sheer need that
drives a baby to nurse. Out of that need and having that need
filled, and from the mother responding with coos, loves and strokes,
that is when the intimacy and the bonding and trusting and identifying
who they are takes place." That is so pictorial of who we
are with God... that our need should drive us to his bosom.
Psalm 22:9-10 says:
"But you are he who took me out
of the womb; You made me trust when I was on my mother's breasts.
I was cast upon You from birth. From my mother's womb you have
been my God."
If there is one thing
that I have learned in life is that out of my need, I am driven
to God's bosom. There I am stroked and I am lulled. It says in
Webster's Dictionary that "lull" means to "calm,
as during a storm." And that "lull is the root word
for lullaby." Isn't that interesting? I love to write poetry
and one of my favorites speaks of this very thing. This is what
I have sensed from the Lord when He has lulled me. It says:
"He strokes my
He whispers kindnesses to me.
He lifts my head
And words are said.
They're my retreat,
The very bread of my soul.
(And then the prose cries out to Him)
'Adorn my solitude.'" c C.S. Milner 2000
When I was 13 I had
the motorcycle accident. I was thrown from the bike 86 feet and
was laying in the ditch 30 minutes before the ambulance came to
me. Knowing my parents were very far away in Korea, I sensed the
Lord's presence come near to me. I won't say it was an audible
voice, but it was something that washed over me and it was the
words from the 23rd Psalm:
though you walk through the valley of the shadow of death, fear
Those words lulled
me. Out of our need we are driven straight to God's bosom. That
was my first experience at that special place. When I was there,
He came and He lulled me.
Silently, so gingerly,
He passed o'er me
and in hope's key
sang breathy notes that
quieted the dirge. c C.S. Milner 2000
That is what He will
do because love believes in
lullabies. Love calms... love croons... love whispers our name...
"Beloved"... "Baby"... "Mine." In
those moments our identity is established. We learn who we are
because lullabies define who we are. They define the baby and
they define us as children of God.
When I was in the ditch,
the lullaby that came over me was not, "Dr. Schuller is your
father, you shall not want." That wouldn't have done it!
No! "The Lord is my shepherd. I
shall not want."
Who I am in my human
identity is tenuous, it's shifting. One day dawns and I am a little
girl... another dawns and I'm a teenager with nice, pretty, smooth
skin and no wrinkles... another day dawns and I'm a young mama...
another day dawns and my youngest is seven and I've got a young
teen... another day dawns and I'll be a grandma... another day
will dawn and I will be the beloved called home. Who I am in my
humanity is shifting at best.
Many of you know that
in 1991 my father had a serious brain injury and went through
months of recovery. Many of you did not see him in those early
days, when he was at home. He wasn't the man we know, let alone
the man that you knew. Who he was... his identity here, was not
there at that time. He could not rest on that identity. One day
I went over and decided I was going to pray for him and have some
time alone with him. I went back into his bedroom and he was just
lying in bed. I stroked his forehead and I said, "Hey, Dad.
I want to sing over you." And I sang, "On Christ, this
solid Rock I stand. All other ground is sinking sand. All other
ground is sinking sand." I just prayed over him because...
Love Believes in Lullabies.
Don Neuen, our wonderful
choir director, recently lost his wife. I hope he doesn't mind
me sharing this story, but the time came when she was going to
go home to be with the Lord. Don said to the doctors, "Just
let me have the last hours with her. I don't want any machines.
I don't want any nurses. I don't want anything. I just want to
be with her." You know what he did? He went in there and
he sang over her.
The point I want you
to understand today, is that God does that to us. He sings over
us. The Bible says that He rejoices over us with singing and He
quiets us with His love. Just think that the God of the entire
universe - the Creator of everything - comes and sings over us.
If that doesn't stir your heart, I don't know what will. It breaks
my heart, and it makes me know who I am.
I am Carol - I am Carol
Lynn - I am Carol Lynn Schuller... I am Carol Lynn Schuller Milner
-I am wife - mother - daughter - sister - lover. These are my
many names, but these are
not who I am. I am homemaker
- caregiver - writer - poet - skier. These are my many functions,
but these are not who I am.
The Bible tells us
of our identity as God sees us.
am... "inscribed you on the palms of [His] hands"! (Isaiah
I am... "fearfully and wonderfully
made"! (Psalm 139:14)
I am... "hidden in the shadow of
His wings"! (Psalm 37:7)
When out of need we
are forced to the bosom of God, we learn that we will be stroked
because Love believes in Dreams Forgotten.
We will be lulled because God sings over us... Love
believes in Lullabies! And we will be identified because...
Love Believes in us! Love, God, believes in me and
He believes in you and when we realize that, then nothing will
ever change who we are!
Prayer: Lord, we invite You now to come and let us know again
the branding on our hearts... that we are marked by Your finger.
When our identity here on earth gets shaken, Lord, we ask that
You would let us know again who we are...
that we are Your beloved.
Lord, I ask that our ears be opened now to Your lullabies and
we will hear You sing over us. In Jesus' name. Amen.