“God doesn’t care for me the way He used to.” That captures my mood at the moment!
You see – I have grown accustomed to His love. He was there to pick up this 19-year-old when I was drowning in sin. He gave focus to my aimlessness and redirected me from a mission-project girlfriend to the girl who is now my amazing wife. He led me when I was clueless and provided when I was needy.
He stretched me with challenges and then empowered me to meet them. He answered my specific prayers and he gave me the blessing of 3 children which has exponentially grown to 10 grandkids. God has been more than good to me.
And YET today – today I feel like the kid who reached into the candy jar just once too often to have his daddy slap his hand and say, “Son – you’ve had enough.”
My earnest prayers seem to bounce off the ceiling. When I go to the Bible for a Spirit whispered word of encouragement I am met with an eerie silence. I watch with a little envy as God dramatically works in the lives of others, while I sit like a wallflower glued to a folding chair at the junior high dance. I find my comfort in the company of John the Baptist in his prison cell.
Has it finally happened? Have I reached the limits of God’s love for me?
Maybe my nephew can help adjust my perspective.
He was two at the time. His grandmother had a cold. She exploded with a sneeze that vibrated the china (in China). She startled us, especially the boy. He reacted by racing out of the living room – a junior germaphobe in the making – or so we thought.
Moments later he returned with a gift – some toilet paper with which she might wipe her nose. He couldn’t reach the tissue box on the counter, so he grabbed it from the TP roll instead. So, so sweet!
But, he didn’t understand that he needed to tear it off. So, trailing behind him – from bathroom to the living room was an unbroken, soft, scented chain of two-ply love. He offered it to her with pride and affection. She gratefully received it with a giggle.
God’s love comes to us in that way.
He once said to His people, “I have loved you with an everlasting love. That is why I have continued to be faithful to you.” – Jeremiah 31:3. NET Bible. An everlasting love has no beginning or end. It cannot be exhausted. Before we were created He decided to love us. (Eph. 1:4) a decision from which He has never wavered.
The apostle Paul asked, “Who will separate us from the love of Christ?” Or to paraphrase, “Who or what is able to tear off the sheet of two-ply and break the chain of His affection for us?”
He continued, “Will trouble, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?” – Romans 8:35. The answer to that purely rhetorical question is – not a thing can separate us from His love.
He was sure of it for he went on to say. “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor heavenly rulers, nor things that are present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:35-39. NETBible
An unbroken, soft, scented chain of His heavenly love.
Now do I always feel loved? Well no! But how reliable are my feelings anyway? As a pastor I made hospital visits. I sometimes empathized with the patient to the point to where I left their room having the same disease – or at least I felt like I had some of the symptoms. “Oh man, I feel like my ovaries are enlarged too!”
Regardless of the way I read my circumstances, God’s love is ever faithful, always true. As I draw from it, it continues to perpetually unroll at its source.
There is hope in the unbroken expression of His love for me.
What about you? Do your current circumstances dull your perception of His love? May today be the day that you relocate that endless, unbroken chain and grab it. Giggle if you must!
Here’s a guitar instrumental to help you reconnect to the never ending love of God!