I remember studying the water cycle in school. Water in the atmosphere condenses and falls as rain from the clouds onto the land and into the oceans, lakes, and streams. That water then evaporates from the surfaces of plants, soil, oceans, lakes, and streams and forms clouds in the sky where once again it condenses and falls as rain.
It seems to me that the earth’s water cycle is a good illustration of God’s love cycle. God’s love rains down on us and it’s supposed to flow out from us like a stream into the lives of others — and their love is supposed to flow to us. Our love, in turn, is meant to rise back up to God. However, it all starts with God!
Too often we humans try to make God’s love cycle an earthbound, horizontal-only system. The water cycle on earth has to include water from above — water from the sky. God’s love cycle has to include love from above — from Him. People can manage to eke out some love between each other, a you-scratch-my-back-and-I’ll-scratch-yours type of system. However, God’s better way is to include Him in the process. Horizontal love with others works best if we have vertical love with God.
When rain falls it not only soaks into the ground, it also runs in streams to other places. God’s love that rains down on you and me is meant to run off into the lives of those around us.