…but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
–Romans 5:8 (ESV)
Is it just me, or is the idea that Jesus loves us just baffling? For the vast majority of my walk as a Christian, my confidence in God’s love was, frankly, suspended. How do you trust something that simply doesn’t make sense?
Allow me to elaborate.
Imagine—you really can’t, but stick with me here, a color that no one has ever seen before. This color carries all the depth of blues, the joy and giddiness of yellows, and the boldness of each shade of red. Somehow, it contains the most concentrated qualities of every color we’ve ever seen. This color is divinely beautiful.
Suppose someone makes a gown out of this color. Decidedly, it is the most beautiful gown in the world (and in history for that matter). Not just because of the color, but the design and the stitching as well—every aspect of the dress is perfect. The CEOs of Dior, Gucci, and Prada see it and they shut down their entire companies out of principle. They don’t want anyone to ever again look at any garment which is not this dress. The magnum opuses of the most gifted designers of the human race look like paper bags beside it. I hesitate to even describe the dress to you because I might mislead you into imagining something less beautiful. I will simply say that no thing in existence would even dare to rival its beauty, perfection, and loveliness. If you saw it, you would probably A, explode from wonder; B, disintegrate from happiness; or C, weep forever. I apologize for taking the scenic route with this description, but this gown is truly the loveliest thing to exist.
When I think of the way the steadfast love of the Lord falls on me, that His insurmountable beauty covers my deformities, I think of an earthworm inching through the folds of the most beautiful garment in existence.
I am that earthworm. And so far, I can’t fathom a way to mentally reconcile the gap between the grossness of my being and the beauty of Jesus. Honestly, I’m physically uncomfortable at the thought that I touch and am touched by the fabric of His love.
It’s preposterous that the earthworm is there in the first place and every moment that goes by that this earthworm continues to be anything but destroyed is baffling to absolutely everyone—the earthworm included. Furthermore, the earthworm is overwhelmed and each of its small hearts is torn between longing to be back in the dirt it was born in and longing to somehow belong in the beauty that surrounds it on all sides—to be something deserving of the most beautiful dress that exists.
Perhaps you’re with me on this one–the way Jesus loves us. It’s as though something just isn’t adding up. So often love is based on merit, or our deservingness to be loved–we often describe people as “lovable.” But before God? We’re all sinners. One might even describe us as earthworms, except that wouldn’t really capture the extent of our depravity. Sure, it’s easy to think every now and then that we’ve earned God’s favor, but the truth is we fall egregiously short of deserving His love.
Why then is God’s love so steadfast and unconditional? To make sense of it, I think we must forget about the earthworm. In other words, to make sense of God’s love for us, we must take our focus off of ourselves. You see, God’s love is a statement about who He is.
Going back to my admittedly chaotic analogy, it must be the case that the beauty of the dress is about the person who stitched it together—not the creature that wears it. God’s love, though it covers us, is not about us. To put an earthworm in the loveliest dress to exist—that’s a power move. It removes all doubt as to why the dress is beautiful. Suppose a supermodel wore it—someone might look at it and think that is the most beautiful woman in the world. They might even think the dress is beautiful because of the person wearing it. That might fly for just any other dress, but not this one. The intrinsic beauty of God’s love simply isn’t arbitrary–it must not be overlooked.
Hence, the earthworm. Not a penumbra of doubt or question remains to suggest that the dress is beautiful because of the model wearing it if that model is in fact roughly 3 inches in length, slimy, pinkish, and boneless.
This is not to say that we are not worthy of God’s love, but that we are worthy because God has said so; He has decreed that we are His beloved. That dress, in all of its earth-shattering beauty, you might say was intended to be worn by an earthworm so that the designer would be glorified. It was designed to befit the unfit. All glory, beauty, credit, praise, and fame simply must go to the designer.
What then is the plight of an earthworm (us)? To be undeservingly loved by God. To imitate His love for us by loving others. To render glory to God and make His name famous.
Julia is a college student who understands that “Distractions don’t just take our attention. When we get caught up in ourselves and the whirlwind of life, we can quickly lose sight of our identity as God’s beloved and the Love which inspires joy, hope, and healing in us. With our focus on ourselves, it’s easy–even logical, to forget why God’s love is so steadfast. Meditate with me on His love, that it is pure, decisive, and trustworthy.” You can listen to any of our Bible studies by tuning in to your favorite radio station, listening to our podcasts on our website or iTunes, or listening through TuneIn, Stitcher, or Spotify online radio. You may also watch us on YouTube!