Thursday, December 10, 2009

The love of God is greater far...

The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell;
It goes beyond the highest star,
And reaches to the lowest hell;
The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
God gave His Son to win;
His erring child He reconciled,
And pardoned from his sin.

O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure
The saints’ and angels’ song.

In my life I've always struggled with feeling loved.
I don't believe it when I'm told, and only lately have I come to accept a history of actions as proof. But I certainly don't rely on it, trusting it to hold onto a friendship or a relationship during the hard times.

I've seen enough of the world to know how easily people give up on other people. A lady I'm working with right now struggling with her marriage recently shoved aside encouragement that "It would get better", saying "I don't want it to get better, I want it to get over." 3 years of marriage. 3 years of "I love you's". 3 years of taking care of their children.

I've seen that example played out in a hundred different scenarios all through my 28 years of life - probably too young to feel jaded about love I suppose - but I am.

That's why when I really met Jesus, I worked hard to not be discarded. I tried to be perfect because not being perfect might mean He gives up on me. I wouldn't believe for a minute that He would give up on you - no, He'd never do that! but I knew me, and I knew people didn't love me, I was the exception to the rule. Ironic, isn't it, how we all convince ourselves that good things apply to everyone else but ourselves, we alone are always the exception to the rule. Even more befuddling is how even when other people tell us they feel the same way, we assume they're just wrong. The bad things don't apply to them, but us, yes, we certainly are the exception to the rule.

Now, I wonder how much God enjoyed watching me fail. Not for the perverse pleasure of it but because He couldn't wait to prove that He was still there. Not giving up. Not changing. Still as invested in seeing His work completed in me, and intent, fearfully and wonderfully intent on seeing the strange and awkward scars my clay had developed over time be smoothed away.

I'm no poster child for good spiritual, or emotional health. Perhaps not even mental health since Alzheimers does seem to run in the family genes... but while I've been sitting in this awkward place with God, wondering what He's doing and what's happening to me, in me, I've constantly been amazed at one thing and I just want to share it again.

God loves you.

Even saying it right now, tears are running down my face because it's He loves you.

He loves me.

He loves me.

It's the best kind of love. The best relationship. The best friend.
I can be a complete jerk, the worst emotional basketcase, and a self-centered thoughtless bum - and He still loves me. It's not about being perfect. It's just being loved. Regardless of what I do. That love was there even when I rejected it. When I stood afar off from God and said "Here's how I believe God is," He loved me with an everlasting love.
When I said "I quit God" and waited on Him to stop loving me - He remained unchanging and loved me still with an everlasting love until I had no choice, it literally wasn't in me to be able to do anything else but humbly come back to God with gratitude.

....Even recently when I felt He disappointed me, He had a lesson for me in it that I should have learned long before now. I love Him all the more for that disappointment and His persistent and often inconvenient lessons.

He loves me. And, while I still have issues come up sometimes, for the most part I have finally - finally - simply begun to respond to that GREAT love. I've begun to trust in it. To believe that He holds onto me when I can't seem to hold onto Him. That He'll love me even when I've done wrong - but He certainly tells me to fix it pronto.

So for all that - it's taken quite awhile to figure out how to say all this so far - I guess I just want to say something to you.

I don't know what situations you specifically are facing. But this I know, God loves you so much. And when you finally get that realization, you will be so relieved. The burden, the fear, the doubt, the distrust; it rolls away into a tiny speck that only pops up every once in awhile to irritate situations. Sometimes, as you understand it better - it won't even be able to irritate you.
He won't give up on you. If He is drawing you, speaking to your heart then know this - He has chosen you. YOU. Specifically you. Sure He's got the whole world on His mind, but He's also got YOU specifically there as well. Trust in Him. Trust His love whenever you find yourself in a situation that's beyond you. God's in the middle of your troubles just as He's in the middle of your celebrations. Give your situations into His hand and trust Him. Give your issues into His hand; the hurt, grief, scars, distrust, anger, fear, guilt - whatever it is - simply tell God all about it. At the top of your lungs if necessary. He's strong enough to take it.

I know me, remember? I know I'm the exception to the rule. If you ever really got to know me surely you'd understand that I wasn't worth the trouble and just... wander off... But even I, can somehow be loved by God so strongly, so patiently, so determinedly, that I, the exception to the rule, believe that God loves me.

And if He can love me He most definitely loves you.
Trust it.
Lean on it.
GO for everything.

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