Thursday, June 18, 2015

He LOVES me!!

It's an iconic picture of girlhood, standing in a field of flowers with a daisy in one hand, plucking off the petals one by one, saying, "He loves me, he loves me not. He loves me, he loves me not...." 

And that same girl, crestfallen (though briefly) when it turns out to be that "he loves me not." Undaunted, though, she picks another daisy and starts all over again. "He loves me, he loves me not..." 

At our breakfast conversation this morning, my husband and I were exploring that picture as a metaphor for what a lot of believers (including ourselves at times, possibly most of the time) think of when things happen in their lives. We base our perception of whether God loves us on the circumstances of our lives.

Let me illustrate. 

I get a new job. "He loves me."

The boss is a jerk. "He loves me not." 

I come home and see a beautiful sunset. "He loves me."

I get home to find that the dog got into the garbage and threw up all over the floor, and I get to clean up garbage AND vomit. "He loves me not. Grrr." 

My child gives me a card she made herself and tells me what a great Mom I am. "He loves me. I feel so blessed!"

That same child irritates the life out of me. Or has set her computer monitor on fire, leaving black smoke hanging in the air. "He loves me not. I'm such a failure." 

And we can treat our spiritual lives with that same sort of insecurity.
Photo "Girl With Daisy" by
Clare Bloomfield at
I pray, and God answers my prayer with an immediate, miraculous YES. "He loves me." 

I pray again, and things get worse - things look hopeless - or someone I pray for dies.  "He loves me not. I must not be trying hard enough. I have to try harder. Maybe I'll give more money to the church." (Word to the wise - any other motivation for giving than love ..... always backfires...)

I give more money to the church, and the car breaks down. (See? now I'm out the money I gave to the church PLUS I have this huge hunking bill...) "He loves me not. What in the world does He want, anyway?" 

I sense His presence in worship, or He heals me of some ailment. "Oh, how He loves me!!" 

Not all that much later, I can't seem to feel His presence, the heavens seem made of brass, and I keep making the same stupid mistakes. "He loves me not. I'm so sinful! How come I keep doing this?" 

Sound familiar? 

I have good news for your heart and for mine. I know you and I have heard this so often that it almost seems to go without saying, but here's the thing. There's hearing and then there's HEARING. Our minds give assent to this thing because we hear it so often, but our hearts have yet to fully grasp what it means, let alone accept it.

Here it is - drum roll - in the first person so that everyone can say it with me: 


Whether I feel Him or not, whether I do things for Him or not, whether good things happen to me or not, whether it's raining or sunny, whether the guy in the next lane cut me off or not, whether the diagnosis is cancer or the common cold ... 


He (as my husband put it so eloquently this morning) bankrupted Heaven ... for me. He turned the gates of pearl inside out, gutted Glory, gave everything He had - just to rescue us. Just to rescue me

That's how good He is. That's how much He loves. That's how much He thrills when we talk to Him. That's how much He longs to bless me, how intensely and completely He has already forgiven me and accepts me. 

Period. No guesswork, no wishing it were true, no pulling the petals off daisies. Just lift my eyes to ... two arms spread wide. 

On a cross.

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