August 27, 2012
We are all made in God’s image. So it’s no real surprise that our core identities and our issues are so similar no matter where we live. An amazing mission trip to Uganda this summer dramatically re-enforced the phenomenon that most of mankind’s misery stems from the pain of feeling unloved, unwanted, or unimportant. As a result, we develop many dysfunctional activities to soothe our unhappiness.
In order to vicariously feel loved or try to get love we pursue quick love to numb or escape the hurt of not being loved. We seek out quick love substitutes for the love we don’t feel. We overly “love” ourselves (pride), or love other things (sports, work, sex, food, shopping, insert your vice). In the midst of our storms, we tend to feel that somehow love has been withheld and that we have been forsaken. And this is exactly what Satan, the Great Deceiver, wants us to think and feel.
This was so prevalent in Uganda. But it’s true everywhere. And the feeling of abandonment is often worse than the storm itself. To us, love is like water to fish. We need it to surround us … we need it to navigate life … we need it to feed us. In fact, we need it to breathe. Most importantly, we need it to LIVE! Have you ever seen a fish out of water … floundering, flapping, and struggling? Isn’t that how we often feel emotionally, psychologically, and especially spiritually? God is love, and we need a relationship with Him to receive His love. But for that relationship to work, we have to receive His perfect and unconditional love and not walk away or look in other ineffective places.
When you feel unloved or abandoned, turn to God’s Holy Scripture. Today’s Scripture reading is what I believe to be the most comforting promise in the Bible. It assures us that we will never be alone or unloved, “Nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God.” Which do you believe: Satan’s lies or God’s promises … your own insecure flesh or the great instruction book of life? What is influencing you: the message of our fallen world or the power of Jesus’ death on the cross for you? Invite Him into your heart to reveal the truth of His love.
Today, be aware of God’s love for you by imagining the love in the best fairy tale you can remember (yes guys, you can do this, too). Whether you are struggling or doing well, remember that fairy tale, and look around to see and feel God’s love for YOU! Also, tell someone who is close to you that you love him or her … and that God does too, even more. Feeling and seeing God’s love as well as expressing love to others is your decision, so choose well!
Dear Father God, I come to You today with such a thankful heart. I am thankful for Your love, and for Your promise that nothing can separate me from Your love. I pray, Lord, that You let this divine assurance trickle through my mind, body and spirit … right into my heart and soul. In this action-addicted world, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find time alone with You. But when I do, I feel Your love. Help me bring awareness to those that I love … and even to strangers, so that all know they are loved. In the name of love personified, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39
…which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. Ephesians 1:20-21
Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you. Psalm 63:3