I ask God from the wealth of his glory to give you power through his Spirit to be strong in your inner selves,  and I pray that Christ will make his home in your hearts through faith. I pray that you may have your roots and foundation in love,  so that you, together with all God's people, may have the power to understand how broad and long, how high and deep, is Christ's love.  Yes, may you come to know his love—although it can never be fully known—and so be completely filled with the very nature of God.  Ephesians 3:16-19 (TEV)

Have ever noticed that we have a tendency to make things harder than they really are?  I remember trying to learn how to water ski for the first time.  It took me 37 attempts to get up out of the water.  First, I would try to pull myself up only to see my skis come up in front of me as my body fell backwards into the water.  After hearing I needed to stop pulling on the rope and let the boat do the work, I managed a very short glimmer of hope as I was pulled up over my skis and deposited face first into the lake.  It didn't take too many tries before I learned that if I let go of the rope sooner, I wouldn't swallow so much water.  Eventually I did manage to simply remain calm and rigid and become one with the skis.  No pulling and no allowing my body to be pulled separate from the skis.  I simply pictured the boat, the rope, my body and the skis as a solid entity.  After that first time up, I never had a problem again. 

I find that as I have learned to love others, especially those I don't feel like loving, that I can make it harder than it really is.  In a lot of ways it has been like learning to water ski.   Water skiing started with something inside me.   I realized I really wanted to do it and I was willing to do whatever it took to do it.  Loving others started inside me too.   But wanting to do it isn't the same thing as doing it.  Just as I needed the power of the boat to enable me to achieve my desire to water ski, I needed the power of God to enable me to love the unloveable.    Just as I needed a rope to keep me attached to the boat and the power to ski, I needed Jesus to keep me attached to God and the power to love.   Just as the skis helped me rise above the water that wanted to consume me and keep me from skiing, I realized I needed God's Spirit to help me rise above the hurt and/or resentment that wanted to keep me from loving. 

Eventually, I learned how to water ski and eventually I learned how to love.  I can honestly say, I have a lot more to learn about both.  To learn more about skiing, I will have to spend more time on the water with a boat and others who are watching me for when I fall and steering the boat to make sure I stay on calm water so I can ski longer.  To learn more about loving, I need to spend more time with God the Father and Jesus Christ who watches over me and His Spirit who guides me into a love that goes beyond my own.  That love is the love of Christ that is in me and always will be in me because of His faithfulness to me.  Because of Him, I can love when others can't. 

If we were at the lake today I might suggest we go skiing, but we aren't so let's go loving instead.  Let's learn a little more about it by reaching out to someone who is hard to love.  Remember to stay one with the Boat, the Rope and the Skis.