I was praying in the morning a few weeks ago when the Lord interrupted me to tell me something.
“I love you.”
What shocked me was that my first thought in reply was “You do?”
I know that Jesus loves me. Not just because I have heard it, but because I have experienced it to be true over and over and over again. And yet, after a hard and anxious week, here I was hearing it and feeling it as a broken girl again, almost as though it were the first time I had heard it from anyone.
It can be the easiest thing in the world for me to make my faith and my service to God a job. It is still a job I love, but I can throw myself so hard into the work that I forget that Jesus wants to spend that time with me more than anything. I get to thinking that He’ll be closer to me if I’m working for Him, and the more I get lost in the work, the more I get to thinking that God is just doing His job too.
“Of course You love me. You’re God; it’s your job.”
And yet partly believing that He wouldn’t want to love me if He didn’t have to do it.
It is such a relief to know that our relationship is on His terms and not mine. During the same week, I was reading through the book of John, and went through Jesus’ wonderful prayer in chapter seventeen. It is such a beautiful look into the depth of the heart of God. In this read through, verse twenty-four stood out to me in particular.
Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.
The Father loved the Son from the foundation of the world. This was not just the idea of love. It wasn’t even in the way that He loved us from the foundation of the world, because none of us were born then. This was love between the Father and the Son that they both experienced actively from before the world was even created. God was not forced to start loving us when we were finally created. He is Love, and He has been loving since before time began. What Jesus is asking in this passage is that we would be with Him so that we would be able to see how glorious it is to be loved by our Father.
We were created because God overflows with love. He created us just so He could love even more. My sin makes it so easy for me to believe the lie that God would leave me if He had the option. That could not be further from the truth. His love is never satisfied to be small. It is infinite.
For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.
~2 Chronicles 16:9
He is on the active lookout for another child to hold, to cherish, and to call His own. All we have to do is receive it. All we have to do is spend time with Jesus and give Him our hearts so that we can see what it is to be loved by the Father. Broken hearts heal in layers. There are times when I seem to be learning the same basic lesson that I did from the beginning, but God is patient, and His mercy is new every morning. Every time I receive this lesson, it sinks a little deeper into my heart and heals another corner I didn’t know was broken. No matter how deep He goes, He will never been scared away by a broken heart.
He just loves to love.