ord appeared to him from afar saying, ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness.” Jeremiah 31:3
This is a line we see and give often, but the reality is most of the world doesn’t feel they are truly and deeply loved. I know it’s important, but every time I have sat down to write on this subject, words have failed me.
So this week I asked God why I don’t feel I have anything to say here. My husband loves me, my family loves me, my friends love me. Apart from a few circumstances throughout the course of my life, I have felt loved.
So why don’t I want to shout this from the roof tops? YOU ARE LOVED!
It’s as if God put His giant, comforting arms around me, held me close and reminded me of what I wanted to let go of. The reason I don’t have much to say is because I have had significant doubts about HIS love over the past few years. To be honest, I've questioned why He would allow certain things if He loved me. Why wouldn't He let me do X, Y, or Z, if He loved me. Why wouldn't He want the best for me but wants the best for her? It has to be because He doesn't love me - or at least not as much as He loves everybody else.
But the truth is, that He DOES love me. Just like He loves you. Even when it doesn't feel that way.
This brings giant tears to my eyes, dear friend, because I have found it so beautiful this year that God can "handle me". He can take me asking “where are You" and "where were you". He can show me His great love while simultaneously not showing me all the world has to offer in terms of success. I can feel so far from Him but at the same time know the GREAT love He has for me.
Maybe you are in a place that you don’t want to be today, a hard, unwanted season. Perhaps you find yourself questioning God’s love fo you or for someone you love, just like I have been. You don’t talk about it, because we aren't “supposed" to question God or His plans for your life.
Friend, can I encourage you this morning to offer up your questions to our faithful Father because He can handle them. David, the man after God’s own heart, did this all the time in the Psalms! God knows what you are feeling - He knows the hurt you are holding in your heart - even better than you do! He knows where you’re coming from and, I believe, He grieves alongside of you. He doesn’t want to see His children hurting. But His plan is greater. His love is greater.
Even in the questioning, you can know His love.
Even in the doubting, you can experience His love.
Even in the tragedy and unwanted circumstances of your life, you can feel that you ARE deeply, recklessly and graciously loved.
God demonstrated the ultimate love by sending His Son for US - for you and for me. He gave Jesus up for us, in order that we might have a deep, abiding love and communion with him.
Sometimes His love feels funny because it's not what we would have chosen, but He sees the bigger picture, He can grasp ALL that He is doing when we can't. He loves us and wants the very best for US - and sometimes that is something hard or unwanted. Sometimes that's a burden that He gives us to carry simply so we have something to lay down before Him.
God loves you and He wants to take that burden from you. He wants to come in, showing you how He can carry you in the middle of the hard. What I've come to understand is that love doesn't take away the hard, but it comes beside us in it. Don't take the difficult circumstance you find yourself in today to mean that God has abandoned you or doesn't love you. It's just the opposite.
It's just like when we let our children learn lessons on their own - with natural consequences or organic situations that they find themselves in. It hurts our hearts as parents, but we know that it's better for them to continue walking through it. We can try to take it away, but what's best is to take it in, gathering up treasures from the trial along the way. This is love.
Let God wrap you up in His love today. Let Him tear down the walls you’ve been building around your heart, let Him fill in the gaps of loss with His great and mighty love. Watch for Him to show up today and know that you are loved.