God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. (Rom. 5:5)

RHODA LOOKED NERVOUSLY at her watch, waiting for her shift at the convenience store to end. Most every night about this time, Sharon showed up to get a large coffee to fuel her study time. Both attended classes at the local community college and had begun a friendship. However, an unusual complication fell over their lives: Their fathers were fighting one another in court over a car accident several months earlier. Rhoda wondered, “Does Sharon blame my dad for what happened? Will she blame me, somehow, as well?” Rhoda had accepted Sharon’s invitation to church several times, but she feared the invitations would all end. A few moments later, Sharon popped into the store and ended Rhoda’s concerns. “Rhoda,” Sharon began, “a few years ago I couldn’t have dealt with something like the crash. But since I’ve become a Christian, God has helped me to forgive and to place things in His hands. Want to come to my apartment later and we’ll review for the history test?”

Does God’s love control your heart, shaping your response to the troubles you face? Or do you attempt to get by on your own limited resources? Ask God to help you draw on the love He has placed within you, every time someone hurts you, treats you unfairly, or purposely leaves you out.

Identify someone in your life who needs to experience God’s love—and help that person.

Paul Zinter serves as a substitute teacher. He enjoys writing, bread making, and teaching at his local church.