When I think about how much God loves me, I’m overwhelmed with humility and gratitude. I find we tend to complicate the Christian life with rules and religion when it all comes down to love.
Love was God’s idea: “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God” (1 John 4:7).
God is love: “God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him” (1 John 4:16).
God is all-loving, all the time: “Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations” (Deuteronomy 7:9).
It’s incredible, this crazy love. This unconditional love hits me in waves and always has throughout my Christian journey, but every time it happens I am overwhelmed and awed by Him anew.
One time in particular comes to mind, a time years ago when my kids were little. I was running around like crazy all the time, with four girls all under the age of six. In an attempt to keep them occupied one day we made a trip to the craft store. After loading our purchases and all of the kiddos into the minivan I drove to the nearest Chick Fil A. It was then I found that my wallet was missing. My heart dropped. Not that this was an end of the world situation, but it was upsetting nonetheless. I would have to cancel all of my credit cards (having to remember which cards were in there in the first place); I’d have to get a new driver’s license (which is a huge pain when you just lost your only form of ID); I’d have to contact my health insurance company and get new ID cards…just additional things to worry about when I was already up to my eyeballs in little girls.
I went home, got the kids settled in with their crafts and called the craft store hoping I’d left my wallet there (this was before cell phones!)…I hadn’t. I was just about to start calling the credit card companies when the phone rang. It was the secretary from our church calling to say that she had found my wallet…in the middle of the parking lot of the craft store! I’d left it on the back of my car after putting everything in and drove away, ever the absent-minded mother! I was so relieved and grateful that she had been the one to find it and not some unscrupulous character who would’ve gone on a shopping spree. I know losing my wallet was not a life and death thing but at a time in my life when I was already overwhelmed it was upsetting, and when it was found…what a blessing! I knew right then and there that in the midst of the craziness of life, how much God loved me.
Even such trivial things as losing a wallet are important to Him because they are important to us. We always think God has bigger things to handle, and of course, He does. But He can handle, and wants to handle, the big and small and everything in between. This is the God who loves us. The God who is so intimately invested in our lives that He knows exactly how many hairs are on our heads (Luke 12:7); our names are written on His hand (Isaiah 49:16); He knows even our very thoughts (Psalm 139:2). When I am reminded of these truths it is a tidal wave of love that washes over me, and I know why I love God…because He first loved us (1 John 4:19).
“We love because he first loved us.” That verse is so comforting especially on the days when you don’t believe you deserve love or are struggling to give love to others.