My Father Loves Me

1 john 31a

A few weeks ago, I began writing about God’s love. I wrote a paragraph or two but couldn’t quite figure out what I wanted to say or where I wanted to go; so I stopped. Over the past few weeks, I’d pull it up and look it over but still stuck, I’d move on and write about something else. In my head, God’s love seems like it should be an easy topic on which to write. While addressing our love to one another may be complicated, God’s love shouldn’t be. Yet, I couldn’t quite get to a place where I felt like I could really grasp it. God’s love felt just out of reach. I could see it, but not quite grab it and examine it closely enough to fully embrace it.

If you’ve spent much time in church, then you’ve heard the phrase, “God is love.” It’s one of the first things you learn in Sunday School as a child. You sing songs about it and learn bible verses that profess it. When you’re young and unbroken, it’s easy to accept at face value. But knowing about and experiencing God’s love is vastly different. And if you’re an adult encountering it for the first time, it can be almost impossible to comprehend if you’ve been broken on the inside.

I don’t know why I have struggled for most of my life to know and believe and trust in God’s love. Maybe it goes back to my childhood; maybe it’s a lesson in church I skipped; but whatever the reason, really believing that God loved ME never quite sunk in until now.

I received glimpses of God’s love for me here and there, but never felt it deep down in my soul like I have since Chris got sick. There is an indescribable experience gifted to those walking through the unimaginable. When all excess is stripped away, you experience God differently-genuinely; for me, for the first time.

Mistakenly, I connected God’s love to lots of different circumstances. Things go well-God must love me; things go badly-God must not and is punishing me.  We read verses about how God is our ‘shepherd’ and a good ‘father’ but what do those words really mean?

To me, it means, that God loves EVERYTHING about me. He delights in me. Even writing that is a new personal revelation. I look at myself and the choices I make and question God’s sanity to take delight in me; and yet, He does. It means that God’s love isn’t just tied to the ‘BIG’ things in my life, but the very small, insignificant details of it. His love is reflected in the things that shouldn’t matter, yet HE KNOWS, makes MY heart smile so that MATTER to HIM.

God, my Father, cares SO deeply for me that while Chris cannot send me flowers-one of my very favorite things to receive-God ensured I had flowers on both Mother’s Day and our wedding Anniversary this year. God, my Father, cares SO deeply about the silly things that make my heart happy like a clean & organized house and beautiful flower beds-things that have ABSOLUTELY NO tangible value to anyone or anything except MY happiness, and He speaks to the heart of individuals around me to gift me these things. Only love would care this much.

If God IS love and if God cares THIS much about insignificant things that make me happy, then why should I doubt or question His ability to provide for my family during this difficult time? If nothing escapes His attention, then why would ‘more important’ things like house payments, utility bills, gas, groceries, etc. slip through His hands?  Why would a LOVING Father not provide for His child during this time?

If God is love and if He has placed a yearning in my heart to speak about God to others and to lead them back to Himself, then why would I worry about His ability to open a door for me to do so?

I think I have wasted far too many years undervaluing God’s love and attention and affection for me. I have mistakenly linked God’s love to circumstances or my performance and never fully grasped that His love is not linked to either because God’s love has absolutely NOTHING to do with me…it’s WHO HE IS. God cannot help but love and be love. He cannot help but to bless and care and provide for His children.
While we live in a fallen world and God does allow difficulties in our lives as a way to bring us closer to Him, HE IS LOVE-regardless of our feelings.

Seeing God go to such lengths to personally love on me and my unique heart through these ‘insignificant’ gifts has helped to heal so much brokenness within me. Only God would know just how meaningful the time and effort and energy of these precious friends who gifted these things to me would mean.

Can I offer you a word of encouragement if you’re struggling believing that God loves you or that He cares about your situation? Keep leaning into Him. Look for the small, tangible signs of his personal touch on the things that matter the most to you. There is NOTHING about you that escapes His notice. There is nothing about you that He does not take delight in. He sees YOU. And because HE IS LOVE, He cares for EVERY aspect of your heart and your life.

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