I’ve deliberated about whether or not I should post this but I’m going to any way. I can’t really explain where it comes from, why it comes now or why I’m afraid to share it but it’s what’s on my heart at the moment . . .
Everyone wants to be loved.
I think that if you consider what you truly desire in life you might first jump to a a good job, with a decent wage and a nice house; then you might consider marriage and family; but ultimately we all long to know we are loved and to be able to share love with others.
When God created the world he saw that Adam was not meant to be alone but that he needed a companion. God exists as three persons in one; he created us “in our image, to be like us” – we too are meant for community.
Of course, as a repercussion of the Fall, these potential relationships are already damaged – we as humans are already destined to mess them up, engage in them in the wrong way. God in His three persons is still intrinsically one, without disagreement, without hierarchy, always in complete unity. It can’t work like this in human relationships because we are sinful, selfish beings. Yet we still long for the intimacy of a relationship like that of God’s – it’s what we are created for.
We can see this manifestd in various ways, people desperate for someone to notice them, someone to care, someone to love them. Some people will turn to material possession, believing they will satisfy them. Others will maintain relationships which even they can see are detrimental simply because they need the attention. Many will go to extreme lengths to break the mold and have someone notice them, others will go a long way to fit into the mold so as to not be cast out.
The brokeness of it all is equally obvious. One of our primary worries is often the opinions of others or what they say about us behind our backs; and rightfully so for we also damage our relationships through gossip and slander. We can build walls around ourselves to keep people at arms length and ourselves from being harmed. We can become overly dependent and clingy – smothering one another. Relationships are difficult things.
But what if our entire self-worth, self-respect, sense of fulfillment, wasn’t dependent upon other human beings? What if we could genuinely believe that there is someone who loves with a a love that surpasses anything we can imagine, a love that is eternal, a love that cannot be diminished?
I look at my friends and I can see that they are desperate for something more. For example, on Hogmanay, they were clearly having a competition to see whose dress could use the least material, one hit a guy when he “groped” her even though she was the one who instigated it all months ago and has been texting him since, one was all over a guy who’s broke her heart at least twice in the past six months and they were all generally in quite a drunken state. And from where I sit it all just looks like a cry for help.
I just finished reading Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers – a retelling of the book of Hosea. Angel was sold into prostitution as a child and as she grows so does her hatred – of everyone and especially God who was never there for her. But Michael Hosea, who answered God’s call to marry her, breaks down her barriers little by little everyday. Angel longs to be loved and to love in return but is afraid that she is unworthy, of the pain that it might bring, the trust thatit will require, so she runs. God tells Michael to love Angel as He does – unconditionally – and as he does so, Angel begins to see the truth about God.
God calls us His children (1 John 3:1). His treasured possession (Exodus 19:5). He claims us as His own (Lev 26:12). He loves us not because of anything we’ve done – He loves us because He loves us because He loves us. He loves us so much He gave up His very own Son, a part of himself, to carry our sins and bare the weight of our sorrows, to be despised and oppressed, beaten, whipped, pierced and finally crucified (Isaiah 53). And even though we cause Him such pain He opens His arms and draws us closer; opens His doors and beckons us in; longs to wipe the tears from our eyes (Rev 7:17); carry us close to His heart (Isaiah 40:11); see us accomplish all that we are meant for (Jeremiah 29:11); and spend eternity with Him in Heaven (Rev 21:1-3).
God is love.
We are His children.
Yes, we need one another. We need encouragement, support, prayer, love. But if our self-worth comes from faith in God and we truly rest in the knowledge that nothing can separate us from God’s love . . . trust me – life is so much better. It’s not always easy but God is always there to catch us when we fall.
For in him we live and move and exist . . .‘We are his offspring.’
(Acts 17:28 )