Everyone has seen an old-fashioned water pump. Before you can get any water out of it, you have to prime it… with water. It’s a bit of a catch-22. You need the pump to get water, but you need water to make the pump work.
Love is a lot like a water. And we are a lot like hand pumps.
Even the tiniest investment of love can bring a tenfold return. I remember a neighbor who welcomed me and my husband when we moved into our home. She noticed us and showed us simple kindness by bringing us a small, hand made gift for the house. She primed the pump. As a result, it was easy for me to love her back. I brought her home made baked goods. I shoveled her walk in the winter. I overlooked her cat peeing in my flower beds…
It’s human nature: we love those who love us first.
And don’t we all want to be the pump? We walk around looking for people who are willing to pour a little love on us. Everyone wants to be primed.
But how many are willing to do the priming?
What if you’re the new neighbor and nobody comes by to welcome you? How willing would you be to initiate – to take gifts to the neighbors instead of receive them? Most of us would think, “I’m the new person here. They should be welcoming me, not the other way around!”
This how we operate. Our egos don’t like having to extend love first. We want to be primed but don’t like to do the priming.
But what would happen if no one was ever willing to love first? An argument arises, a child rebels, a misunderstanding erupts, a friend betrays, a need is ignored. With no one willing to love first, we’d end up at a stalemate. The world would be quickly steeped in bitterness, anger, and unforgiveness. With no one to step up and love first, the flow of love is shut off.
Easter is the time of the year to rejoice in the fact that we don’t live in that kind of world.
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
– Romans 5:8
We love because he first loved us.
– 1 John 4:19
The pump is forever primed. Regardless of whether others have loved us (or hurt us) in the past, we can love first because we are fully loved by God.
Do you know the love that primes? It is the love of God that poured into us before we ever had any love to give back. It is no overstatement to say that we cannot love at all without God first loving us. It is not our nature to love first. Praise God that it is His!
Does someone in your life need to be noticed, encouraged, or forgiven? Is God asking you to initiate by loving that person first?
If you are waiting for them to make the first move, I encourage you to spend some time today reveling in God’s priming love. Stay there with Him a good, long while. And when you are fully drenched… go do some priming. This is God-style love, and you can do it because He has loved you first.