It’s a fight. My feelings tussle with my knowledge. Over and over the struggle continues because of one small but jam-packed word: Beloved. The word and its concept have the power to reduce me to tears without much warning.
In my head I know I’m beloved. My parents, my brother, my sister-in-law, my on the verge of being-too-cool-for-displays-of-affection nephews–they leave no doubt in my mind that I’m treasured by them. They never have. And still I struggle.
There are countless children who believe I exist simply for their pleasure. They let me know with hugs, giggles and arguments revolving around my lap and arms during book reading. They tell me with words both spoken and written. They share with their parents who share with me.
I have so many friends who affirm me regularly. They seem to think I’m fairly good to be around–or at least to want to be around. I don’t always understand what they see, but I’m thankful they see something worthy.
And then there’s the cross. I start to feel like I might be able to get my mind partially around the cross and what it means, but it’s so very big. I grasp God’s loving anguish that allowed Christ to die in my place so he could conquer death and allow me to have a relationship with him. I’m not sure if I’ll ever fully grasp it–it’s so big, yet I know this truth beyond a hint of a doubt. I know I am the beloved of the Creator and Master of the Universe.
I grasp it, but I don’t get it.
The whys flow regularly. The “I know, but . . . ” isn’t an unfamiliar part of my conversations with God. Thankfully, he answers gently.
He provides in ways I can’t fathom. Money that I desperately need. Time with family that feeds my soul. Time alone that restores my soul. Little things that no one else would even know about. They all fall freely from his hand into my lap.
So what’s the problem? It’s the lie that I’ve never been chosen. No man ever decided I was worth his time and energy. It’s a lie I have to recognize more often to wage war against more effectively.
I reason my family has to love me–that’s what families do. However I know many families who aren’t that fond of some of their members. I reason of course kids like me–I listen. I provide a fun learning experience. I really do care. I know better though; those things don’t necessarily add up to being beloved. And God? Well, that’s his nature, right? Even though I’m a dirty, rotten sinner, he still immerses me in grace.
As my head and my heart battle over this word and all it implies, tears may leak from my eyes, but truth prevails. I know he sent Jesus to die in my place (John 3:16; Romans 5:8). I know he sings over me (Zephaniah 3:17). I know he plans my future and gives me hope (Jeremiah 29:11). And so much more!
The truth is there. As much as my heart tries to give it the worst make-over possible, it remains unchanged. I can read it. I can see it manifest. Truth wins every time.
God’s unfailing love for us is an objective fact affirmed over and over in the Scriptures. It is true whether we believe it or not. Our doubts do not destroy God’s love, nor does our faith create it. It originates in the very nature of God, who is love, and it flows to us through our union with His beloved Son. ~ Jerry Bridges
I’m linking up with other bloggers today as part of the Thursday Faith Jam. Hop on over there and join the Jam.