A Realization of Love by Lisa Bingham (1.12.08)
I’ve always known that God loves me. At times I’ve been more convinced of this deep love than others, but I’ve always
known it even if I haven’t felt it. The Bible compares God’s relationship with us in many different ways: Master/servant, Father/child, Friend/friend, Teacher/pupil, Groom/bride, and many more. The dynamic of love in each of these relationships is different and meets needs of different levels and strengths. God’s great love for His people is much more powerful than we could ever imagine. Still, with all I’ve known about God’s love, I think I’ve always viewed it through broken lenses. The Bible says that God loves the world (we all know John 3:16). So I’ve often thought of God’s love toward me as similar to my love for the world, just stronger. Kind of like an amazing and beautiful kindness. This idea of love is good, great even, but is yet lacking. I do often think of God as my Friend and my Father, but I usually still sense His love as more of a wonderful, but vague outpouring upon all of humanity.
I don’t know much about the love between a man and a woman, but I know that when it is true it is strong, powerful, even life-changing. You don’t want to spend one minute without that person and you are inexplicably drawn to them (maybe even despite your best efforts to thwart your love). You find there’s a place within you that no other person can fill but him, and you feel as though you simply cannot live without that person.
GOD is my Groom, my Husband, the Lover of my soul. His love is not and cannot be a vague outpouring on the world at large. It is a specific, ever personal connection to me. There is a place in God’s heart that only I can fill. He doesn’t want to go a day without me. He thinks about me all the time. He cherishes me, adores me, LOVES me – more deeply, personally, passionately, and truly than I could ever imagine.
Whereas each person on this earth can just fill one relational need for another, God meets all our needs, fills all our voids, right down to our deepest desires. He is the fulfillment, the perfection, of every relationship that we try to complete ourselves through others. Even the best human love is tainted. God’s love is amazingly pure, true, lacking in nothing, irrevocable, perfect. Wow.
While a great outpouring of kindness onto mass humanity by a loving God may be a more sensible and more graspable concept of God’s love for us, it is decidedly false.
God’s love for us is an inexplicable connection between the faultless heart of God and the truest hearts of His people – a love reaching way beyond kindness, a love that captures my heart and soul in a way no other living thing can, a love so deeply real and personal it can hardly be imagined, a love that is the fulfillment of my deepest desire.
What I offer in return is so petty and poor that I am ashamed to even call it love.
Oh Lord my God, give me a greater capacity of love for You. Enable me to love You as You deserve, with a love worthy to offer the Lover of my soul, the Captivator of my heart, the Fulfillment of my every desire.
“If God is Love, He is, by definition, something more than mere kindness…He has paid us the intolerable compliment of loving us, in the deepest, more tragic, most inexorable sense.” -C.S. Lewis
And I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources He will give you mighty inner strength through His Holy Spirit. And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust Him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love really is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it. Then you will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now glory be to God! By His mighty power at work within us, He is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever to dare to ask or hope. May He be given glory in the church and in Christ Jesus forever and ever through endless ages. Amen. – Ephesians 3:16-21
Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean He no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or are hungry or cold or in danger or threatened with death? (Even the Scriptures say, “For Your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from His love. Death can’t, and life can’t. The angels can’t, and the demons can’t. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, even the powers of hell can’t keep God’s love away. Whether we are high above the sky or in the deepest ocean, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 8:35-39