Discovering Who I Am, Grace, Love, Words of Endurance
I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—
nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic,
today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—
absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love
because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.
ROMANS 8:38-39 (THE MESSAGE)
As I was on the path to discovering who I was, one of my major roadblocks was accepting and believing God could really love me. No that is not exactly right. I believed He could love me; I just always struggled with how could He love me – even in spite of my sin and my failures…
It is one thing to accept truth intellectually – it is quite another to get it into your heart. I knew that God is God and He is who He says He is. I knew what He has done for us through the death of his Son. But I struggled to connect with this affection that God insists He has for me – I struggled to understand and accept His unconditional love.
Thank God for the one thing that helped me to bridge the gap between my head and my heart – my love for my own kids. It was not an exaggeration to say that I loved my kids so much that I would die for them. I hate to think what I would do to the person who tried to harm them. I could not see how I could ever exchange one of his or her lives for the life of someone else – yet that is exactly what God did for us.
“For God loved the world so much
that he gave his one and only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him
will not perish but have eternal life.”
JOHN 3:16 (NLT)
When I thought about that and about what Scripture says of the love of God for me – it became easier to accept that He really does love me. If I can love my own children with such passion then how much more was He who is perfect able to love me?
Such reflections also helped me to realize that when my children failed – I didn’t love them any less. When they would go their own way of disobedience – despite what Jan or I would ask – did I love them any less because of it? Of course not! Sure I would get angry with them but my love never disappeared because of their disobedience.
More over, it struck me as I looked at my disobedient son or daughter – I saw myself. I was no different than them – just a bigger, older version! I was not different at all.
So what does that mean? Could it mean that God continues to love us despite our sins just as we continue to love our kids despite theirs? Absolutely! God does not rejoice when I fall nor does He rub His hands and say “Aha! I told you so!” I found great comfort in that.
This revelation was a real eye-opener for me because I tended to get down on myself whenever I sin or failed. I did not want to go to God at those times – I turned away in shame. Yet that is when I needed Him more than at any other time – I needed to turn to Him – bring my sin and failures before Him. And remember that …
But if we confess our sins, he will forgive our sins,
because we can trust God to do what is right.
He will cleanse us from all the wrongs we have done.
1 JOHN 1:9 (NCV)
I close today with the same prayer for all of you that the Apostle Paul had for the Ephesians …
And I pray that you and all God’s holy people
will have the power to understand
the greatness of Christ’s love—
how wide and how long and how high
and how deep that love is.
EPHESIANS 3:18 (NCV)
and his prayer for the Thessalonians as you endure your journey …
May the Lord lead your hearts
into a full understanding and expression of the love of God
and the patient endurance that comes from Christ.
2 THESSALONIANS 3:5 (NCV)
On the journey with you,