So this is a part 2 to my last post. It was an idea I sort of wanted to tack on to the end, but at that point I was going to have an obnoxious rambly transition, and no pays attention to wordy so I thought it best to wait. (Or am I the only one who scans how long a blog is before I commit to reading it?)
Anyway, the last blog touched on how the best relationships are forged in real life, with real struggles, with honest emotions, and less hiding of imperfections.
But the truth is that even the best of those relationships will not ever completely fulfill me. My husband is my best friend in this world and even he cannot completely fill every need or remove every insecurity from between us. Friends let us down sometimes, and we will inevitable do the same to them. While meaningful friendships can encourage us, fill us to a point, challenge us, and sustain us at times, they still leave us longing for something.
I'm coming to see more and more in my life that Jesus is the real relationship I must seek above all else. He is the only one who will never leave me, or forsake me (Deut. 31:6), whose love I will never be separated from (Rom. 8:38-39), who would not only put up with me at my worst, but DIE for me at my worst (Rom. 5:8). He saw me before I was formed, knows all my thoughts, and is familiar with all my ways (Psalm 139). And He came not only to rescue me from death but to give me LIFE- abundant life (John 10:10).
But even though I have all these amazing promises about God's love for me, I still doubt it at times, just like I do with my friendships. (Also God made me- and He never did anything wrong so I can't throw anything back in His face if I start an argument.) I don't think I struggle so much to believe that He has forgiven me, but I feel like maybe he just loves me a little right now and I can make Him love me more. It's not often a conscious thought- but it silently shapes how I respond to Jesus. That lie sits there when I feel the weight of choosing the "right" choice out of multiple good choices so I don't "mess up God's plan"- or when I screw up the SAME THING for the millionth time and don't think God wants anything to do with me until I get it together, or when I feel guilt over watching a TV show because I could have been praying. Does He really love me and want me?
I recently read this one line from author Christine Caine*: "There is nothing you can do to make Him [God] love you more or less."
And it totally stopped me in my tracks. I think I had vaguely come to accept the idea that God won't love me less, but you are saying I can't make God love me more? Are you SURE? It seems so obvious, but I'm not sure I'd ever consciously acknowledged it. But now that I think of it, it's pretty tough to imagine a greater love than one that would die for you. I think when I sit still long enough to internalize the vastness of His love for me- it still doesn't make sense- and I still fight to believe it- but it starts to alter my relationship with Him- it makes me trust Him more- it makes me Love Him more- it weakens my fear and guilt. And I think all He wants me to do is to simply delight myself in Him (Psalm 37:4) then act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with Him (Micah 6:8). His love is there waiting for me no matter what.
So here's a verse I pray God will plant deeply and firmly in my heart and yours:
"And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God." -Ephesians 3:17-19)
*Read more of her blog excerpt here: http://www.faithgateway.com/enter-gates-thanksgiving/#.VH5qJzHF_0E