That Four Letter Word

The Lord is good to me. He knows how often I need to hear him tell me he is pleased with me and that he loves me. He knows I struggle so with fear and doubt and he is constantly putting those fears and doubts to rest with his whispered reminders of how faithful he is...to me. My perspective has changed in recent years so that I can see his faithfulness. I can see and believe his word in my life...finally. I know there is still more to be seen, more to believe. I can feel it stirring inside my heart, waiting for God's time to be revealed.

Love.

Can love be labeled or defined? Well, in our world, in our earthly relationships we can at least give it a good try. We define it as a choice, sacrificial, unconditional..

Unconditional.

I love my kids unconditionally. I would die for them in a second. I would go to any length to protect them from harm if it were in my hands to do so. I will love them when they fail and when they succeed. I love them because they are mine. It occurs to me, though, that my love for them has a start date. I mean, maybe before I found out about that little girl growing in my belly I had far off thoughts of "one day" and "when I have kids" but no amount of pondering or dreaming could have prepared me for what I would feel when that doctor pointed out my little peanut on that screen and I saw that little heart pumping. What I felt in that moment I had never felt before and I thought that was the climax of it.

But then I held her in my arms.

Oh, how to describe it. Weeping and laughing at once, fear of the unknown and perfect peace, all at once. Yet, this was not the end of that love, either. With every moment, every milestone, I discover new ways of loving my kids. All those milestones are opening new doors to that love growing in my heart. So yes, love in this human world seems to have a start date, a sort of discovery process.

God's love is different.

Maybe parenting and marriage give us a glimpse of God's love but only a glimpse. You see, that was the very thing God showed me today that, well, I needed to hear and maybe you do too.

God's love doesn't have a start date.

I am notorious for trying to understand things, process things and analyze things. I always want to know the details and grasp the reality. What God whispered to me, though, defies all that I just listed. I cannot use that "process" on God in trying to understand him or his love. I cannot because it is impossible for me to fathom how much God loves me. That's right, I cannot fathom it. His love never began and it never ends; it simply is. What a thought! To think that what I felt in those first moments of motherhood, that God's love is bigger, deeper, wider....

and has always been.

Love develops in us humans. This nature we are trapped in doesn't naturally love. We must learn it and choose it. Not God, though. God is love. God never learned to love and he isn't growing in it...he simply is love.



Perhaps you've heard that phrase before and you disregard it because you just don't get it. Maybe, like me, you saw some pretty tainted views of love lived out and so you assume that God is like everyone...demanding things for his love and expecting you to perform and earn his love. Whatever feeling that phrase evokes in you, the truth is that God is love. There is security in the love of God. It is safe there, where love never started and has no end. It is a place of peace....rest....

acceptance.

Friend, you are loved, have been loved and will be loved...without fail. You might have to fight for that belief because you don't feel it in this moment. You might have to trust right now, what you cannot see, but you needn't doubt the love of God. If his love has always been than it is all encompassing. Your past, your present and your future are all surrounded by God's perfect love because it has always been there. Rest in the love of God. Take refuge in the shelter of love that has no limit, no timing, no space. Believe that you are delivered, redeemed, forgiven. Let me say it, as loud as a blog will allow, that God has always and will always...

love you.

Without beginning, without end...without fail

He will always love you.

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