All Posts /



And now, here’s what I’m going to do: I’m going to start all over again. I’m taking her back out into the wilderness where we had our first date, and I’ll court her. I’ll give her bouquets of roses. I’ll turn Heartbreak Valley into Acres of Hope. — Hosea 2:14 MSG

“Jess is hard on stuff.”

My friend was describing me, specifically as it related to my worn-down jacket that I’d just tossed on the floor. I was eighteen and in my freshman college dorm. As the frayed outer garment hit the ground, the words hit my heart. And I haven’t forgotten that phrase, said so casually and innocently, for almost two decades.

Jess is hard on stuff.

It’s true; I can be. I can love people into exhaustion. I can belabor a point like no one you’ve ever met. I take it too far! It’s what I do. To jackets, foods, people, ideas, and thoughts. I hold on to them tight and squeeze all the goodness out of them, because when I love something, or even like it, I just want more of it.

It’s only by the power of the Holy Spirit and many years of failure that I’ve learned you can love something so much that you take tenderness too far in all the best ways.

You can love something the way God does and express it through patience and gentleness; you can love tenderly and expectantly, and that’s not weak or holding back.

There’s a connection with our Father that takes place when we move toward things, people, ideas, dreams, visions, gifts, and scenarios that we love, while also realizing what kind of love and care that thing, person, idea, or scenario needs.

And sometimes things need tenderness. Sometimes they need tenderness taken too far. Sometimes I need tenderness taken too far. And God always delivers and always teaches me through His intentional care for me.

I can be hard on stuff, but I can also be tender, because I’m made in His image. And being tender can be taking it too far. I can be my fully awake, alive, extreme self and still be tender. Because He is too.

How has God been tender with you? Is there a person, idea, or place that needs some tenderness from you right now? What would it look like to take it too far?

Excerpted with permission from Take It Too Far by Jess Connolly, copyright Jessica Ashleigh Connolly.

* * *

Your Turn

Maybe this season has brought out a little more hardness than you wish you possessed. Maybe tenderness has taken a back seat to irritation and intensity. Today, let’s pray that the Lord would take it too far with His tenderness with us and that we would pass that on. Come share your thoughts with us on our blog. We want to hear from you! ~ Devotionals Daily