For over a decade, I have waited for You to prove to me that You love me. On every missions trip, hope was renewed that this was the year You would show me. I would go to the highest solitary point I was able and cry out, “Show me You love me!” As the years passed and I heard nothing, the cry changed to one of despair and accusation rooted in bitterness and despair. “Why don’t You love me? Why don’t You want me.” It seemed like I was the only One in the world You wouldn’t show up for.
I came to IHOP begrudgingly, believing I was doing You a favor and once again demonstrating my faithfulness to You despite Your seeming lack of affection for me.
But something is shifting. Somehow, incredibly subtly, I am realizing the horrible error in my thinking. I was reading the book of Job and over-identifying with his misery. I felt like I understood (albeit, to a smaller degree) how he felt he had been wronged by You. I too wanted to have my own little court session with You, the Almighty, condemning You for presumedly withholding Your love from a devoted daughter.
And then I read Job 38-40, the part where You answer Job. You come to Job in a whirlwind and say, “Who is that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Dress for action like a man; I will question you and you make it known to me.” You go on to ask Job a series of rhetorical questions that serve to humble Job and remind him of Your infinite wisdom and superiority over man. You end by saying, “Shall a faultfinder contend with Almighty? He who argues with God, let him answer it.” Job squeaks out this reply, “Behold, I am of small account; what shall I answer you? I lay my hand on my mouth. I have spoken once, and I will not answer; twice, but I will proceed no further.”
Faultfinder. One who dares argue with the Perfect One. That’s me. That is how I have treated You. Worse, in fact.
But Your kindness continually leads me to repentance. I was reminded of something I felt like You spoke to me yesterday–You didn’t respond to my prayers of proof in those days because if You had, it would have taught me that You do in fact owe me something–that You really hadn’t done enough to show me. I came with a spirit of pride and condemnation and You, in Your perfect wisdom and insight knew that the lesson I would learn would not work for my good. What I thought was withholding was yet another outpouring of Your love for me.
Today, I feel as if the puzzle has come together. I was reading through Allen Hood’s notes on Your Father heart. He highlighted John 17 which is one of the only prayers recorded in the BIble between You and Jesus. In it, he prays, “I in them and You in me that they may become perfectly one so that the world may know that You sent me and loved them as you loved me.”
Love them as you have loved Jesus…Love them as you have loved Jesus…Love them as you have loved Jesus…Love them as you have loved Jesus…Love them as you have loved Jesus…Love them as you have loved Jesus…Love them as you have loved Jesus…
The idea rolled around in my head like a marble. You love me as much as You love Jesus. There is no question about it nor an argument that can counter it. It is written plain as day in the Bible. What are the implications of this? I am not sure, to be honest. But I do know that it means that if I question the love You have for me, I am calling Jesus a liar. Wow. I have called You a liar for years!
It also means not only that You love me, but You delight in me! I can know this because it is also in Your word! Whenever You tell another believer how much You love them, I can know it applies to me too since You love everyone the same as Jesus and You love Jesus as much as You love me! The logic is incredible and so powerful!
And so by Your grace, I ask that You would help me to never ever again question whether or not You love me. I may not feel it at times or at all, but I purpose in my heart to declare the Truth rather than believe the lie.
Wow. Didn’t see that one coming,
Thank You for showing me that You loved me all along,