I have walked with God for a good many years. I met him as a child, ran from him as a teen, surrendered to him as a young adult as he relentlessly pursued me, and I have sought to follow him since.
There have been seasons filled with faith, believing every promise and feeling so confident in my purpose and the warmth of his presence. I have also had seasons when I felt as if I was drowning in heartbreak, despair, and discouragement, wondering if he was even there or heard the cry of my heart.
In the discouraging times, when God felt so absent from my life, I immediately thought that I had heard wrong or done something wrong. I knew my heart—no matter how much I tried—was incredibly capable of sin. Yes, I had moved on from the “big sins,” the ones that seem to upset us Christians so. Only to realize that God doesn’t have the same measuring stick we hold; jealousy, envy, pride, anger (not the righteous kind), and even looking at someone else and wishing you could be them, have what they have, or be the “Christian” they are are—all sins too. I had not, nor will I in this life, entirely move away from those. They are the tough ones.
But I have learned and grown to be comfortable in a few things about my God, things that settle my heart and offers me peace when there is turmoil. After all my years of daily reading his Word, praying, creating journals, attending Bible studies, and filling out workbooks, I know less about God than I thought I did when I was 30. While my relationship with him has grown deeper and more dear, I have realized my human understanding cannot comprehend his greatness. The boxes I tried to fit the Creator of the universe into, could not contain him. He is so much more broad, grand, astonishing, and magnificent than the simplicity of my theology or the limits of my expectations. His ways are above ours and honestly, who can know the mind of God? Because of who he is, I have come to be confident that I can trust him, even when I don’t understand.
Incomprehensible, True Love
The other thing I have learned is that he loves me (and you too) in ways I cannot comprehend nor truly replicate in my life. Even when I doubt, sin, distrust, languish in discouragement, or acknowledge the weakness of my humanity, he loves me. The real truth is, he is love. Not just the definition of it; love is his very being. There is no other pure form of this feeling, expression, or action than that which is embodied in the God who left his throne, trading the perfection of heaven for the frailty of earth, who came to give his life for us.
If you are even a little bit familiar with the Bible, you’ve probably heard 1 Corinthians 13 referred to as the love chapter. I have often looked to it as the conduct I need to strive to be like Christ. But it was recently in a book I’ve been reading by Steve Brown, entitled Talk the Walk, when I comprehended that this is the description of Jesus, how he feels about us, and how he loves us. In this book, he suggested that instead of reading this passage as “love is,” to change the words in each line to “Jesus’ love for me is…” This simple change crystalized more to me than ever in my life how he truly and faithfully loves every one of us.
Read these and know each statement made about love is from Jesus to you.
- Jesus’ love for me is one that suffers long and is kind. There is nothing I can do, say, or be that makes him give up on me; he treats me kindly even when I am undeserving.
- Jesus’ love for me is trusted to think no evil. When others condemn me, or I condemn myself, he does not.
- Jesus’ love for me does not rejoice in my failings but rejoices in truth. There is no celebration when I mess up, but when I get it right, there’s a party.
- Jesus’ love for me is a promise to bear all things. The weight of all I carry, he carries with me—even for me—when I may not feel it or believe that to be true.
- Jesus’ love for me is such that it will believe all things. He sees in me much of what I don’t see in myself and knows the day will come that I will become the perfect me.
- Jesus’ love for me is faithful to endure all things. When I think he’s had enough, he hasn’t. He never walks away.
- Jesus’ love for me is always hopeful. He knows what can be even when it’s not my current reality.
- Jesus’ love for me is the only one that will never fail. You can take this one to the bank. It’s worth more than every treasure ever accumulated on this earth. His love never—without hesitation, caveat, or disclaimer—will fail.
There is a song penned by Daniel Joseph and Toby McKeehan (TobyMac) that has always resonated with me. The lyrics ask these questions, “What if I stumble, what if I fall? What if I lose my step and I make fools of us all? Will the love continue when my walk becomes a crawl?” These may be questions you have asked yourself; I know I have. You see, I am neither as good as I want to be or as bad as I could be, I am still a work in progress, growing in grace. I am going to stumble, and I will fall. When I do, I’m sure others want to take me to task. They think it’s theirs to question my heart and point out my humanity, but 1 Corinthians tells me that that won’t come from the God I serve.
Instead, what I now know in my heart and desire that every other child of God knows as well is this: “May you be able to feel and understand… how long, how wide, how deep, and how high [God’s] love really is; and to experience this love for yourselves” (Ephesians 3:19a TLB).
For more articles on being a strong woman growing in her faith, start here:
My Embarrassing Moment at Church Changed Me (For Better)
How to Pray (When You Feel Like You Don’t Know How)
It Was an Undeniable Miracle I Will Never Forget
What Does It Mean to Be a Virtuous Woman?
Chutes and Ladders—Are You Trying to Work Your Way to God?
You Are Loved More Than You Know
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