Admit it. When things get tough, that thought sneaks in. “If He liked me, He would help me now.” Or, more subtle: “I thought He loved me? Maybe He just loves ‘us’ but not ME?” Our notion of “love” is that it is a warm fuzzy feeling that makes the person HELP us…not CHALLENGE us. Not DISCIPLINE us.
You have kids? Then you KNOW that ain’t right. We DO challenge them! We DO discipline them! All for their own GOOD. Their growth, their learning, their soul-shaping.
The ones nobody cares enough to discipline or challenge don’t do as well. The ones disciplined and challenged in love get mad sometimes. Even cry. But are better for it.
Those of us who get mixed up about it too easily? Probably didn’t get enough of that kind of shaping love.
LOVE is what we really want isn’t it? What we think we’re missing when we suffer? When we try to get money or fame? Eat too much, drink too much, buy too much, try drugs or gambling to perk us up?
Some of us always had it. Some of us did not. It’s the fault line, the watershed, most of the difference between us. People think it’s money or looks or fame. Nope.
And that’s why the challenges, the discipline is harder for us. Many of us misfits never got filled up with what children really need when we were small. Abandoned or abused or neglected, we survived with only tattered remnants of love. And some have suffered unspeakable horrors SINCE, leaving a hole in our hearts that will never heal.
Plus many of us were deceived by the bad advice and example of broken people along the way too.
Even if we are able to seem perfectly normal on the outside, deep inside we feel our own woundedness. That something at our core is damaged.
But that is not the bad news you think it is. That CAN be where the LIGHT gets in.
God IS that light.
The more we NEED Him, the more we LOVE Him.
And THAT, fellow misfits, lasts FOREVER. Even if it hurts for now.
He couldn’t have DONE more to prove He loves us! And His promises are many:
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?” NOPE. NOTHING! Romans 8:35
Scripture nails it down. No doubt!:
“I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38
NOTHING, fellow pilgrims and misfits! NOTHING can!
So we don’t have to wonder on a bad day.
IF YOU EVER FORGET, HIT YOUR KNEES WITH THIS ONE, right out of the BOOK. READ IT OUT LOUD, even if you don’t “FEEL” it. SAY IT. God Himself says His Word won’t return without accomplishing what it was sent out for! (Isaiah 55:11):
“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” — Ephesians 3:14-21