Friday, May 22, 2015
It was one of those days which can only be described as a “perfect storm” of positive reinforcement.
One after another I received a continuous string of email messages from a variety of people who wanted to thank me for my writing, or to encourage me in my ministry, or to affirm something that I had done or said.
It was glorious.
As someone whose love language involves “Words of Affirmation”, it was like a tsunami of love coming to me in a series of warm, soothing waves.
Driving home that evening, I was glowing from the inside out. That’s when I started realizing how great it is to be loved.
Not only is it great to receive love from total strangers who appreciate my writing, it’s even more amazing to realize that I am even more loved by the Creator of this Universe, every single second of every single day.
“Thank you for loving me, “ I said. “Thank you God for your incredible, unending, unmerited love for me.”
That’s when I started to hear from the Holy Spirit. He questioned my mention of the “unmerited” aspect of His love for me.
What I began to experience next was both an endless wave of His Divine love for me, and a quiet whisper that I should never allow anything to distract me from an awareness of His incredible love for me. Not even the idea that I don’t deserve it.
What followed was sort of a little movie in my inner thoughts. I began to review the various verses in the Bible about God’s fantastic and extravagant love for His people.
I remembered the verse that says God sings over me and quiets me with His love.
I remembered the verse where God says that His thoughts about me are more numerous than all the grains of sand on the planet.
I remembered the verse where God says that He loved the entire world so much that He was willing to step down from Glory, become one of us, humble Himself like a servant, and lay down and die – all because He would rather die than live without us.
I remembered the verse where God’s love is described as transcending knowledge, and that if we could just grasp how wide, and high, and long, and deep His love for us really is that we could be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
And guess what I realized next? I realized that none of those verses about God’s phenomenal love for me ever – not even once – cautioned me to remember that I was a worthless scum who didn’t deserve that kind of love.
Let that sink in for a moment.
God loves you. He wants you to know it. He wants you to bask in it. He wants you to enjoy it. He wants you to trust in that love. He wants you to experience it. He wants you to meditate on it. He wants you to take a deep dive into the depths of His love and to let it saturate your being, infiltrate your soul, permeate your heart and transform your identity from the inside out.
Let go of the idea that you don’t deserve it. Let it disappear in your rearview mirror.
Concentrate on His ridonkulus, splendiferous, ginormous love for you.
And then, get ready for the best part of all which comes when your tiny soul can no longer contain the vast ocean of His love and it all comes gushing out of you like a massive tidal wave of unbelievably unlimited agape.
Yes, His love for you is better than you can imagine. It’s over the top, beyond the moon, as vast as the heavens, and totally, gloriously, fantastically eternal and overwhelming. But it’s not about you. It’s about Him, the God who is love incarnate, getting into you and everyone around you.
We are empty, dry sponges that are desperate for one thing – the unending love of our Maker.
Once you realize this you start to see how “caring for the poor” isn’t the point. But loving people who happen to have less than you is.
You realize that “turning the other cheek” isn’t the point. But loving the person in front of you who has hate in his eyes is.
You realize that “social justice” isn’t the point. But loving the community around you enough to get involved in their suffering is.
You realize that “non-violence” isn’t the point. But loving everyone – even your enemies who want to kill you – is.
Being loved is awesome. There’s nothing like it in the world. Once you know how completely you are loved by God, the next step is to make sure everyone else around you knows how much they are loved, too.