This month I want to share with you something to ponder, mull over, and sit with. If you have been to a retreat I have led, been a regular reader of the musings I write, or if you know me personally then you have probably become aware that I believe it is of tantamount importance that individuals not only know and believe that God loves them BUT also that they internalize, embrace and live out of the reality of God’s unconditional love for them.
As David Benner writes: “I am convinced that God loves each and every one of us with depth, persistence and intensity beyond imagination. God doesn’t simply like you. Nor does God simply have warm sentimental feelings toward you just because you were created in the Divine image. The truth is that God loves you with what Hannah Hurrand calls “a passionate absorbed interest”. God cannot help seeing you through the eyes of love. The Gift of Being Yourself p.49
As I have talked with others about this I have found that over time people are beginning to own in a deeper way God’s unconditional, one of a kind, ‘nothing can separate you from it’ love. I have also become aware that people can discount the freedom and transforming power that this love can bring by saying things like, “Well of course God loves me, God loves everyone” or “Yes, God loves me but God is love so God has to love me” or, even worse, I hear people say, “God loves me but I don’t think God likes me.” These types of statements take the heart out of God’s love, reducing it to an impersonal force like gravity, that just is, rather than seeing God’s love as a personally caring and intimate relational encounter between a person (you) and God.
So this month I invite you to interact, journal and soak in the thought I am going to share with you about God’s disposition toward you and God ‘s love for you. The phrase I am about to share with you surfaced within me as I was listening to someone who spoke about their encounter with God during a b retreat. As they were describing the wondrous way God had chosen to connect with them I had this thought: “God loves loving us”. And then I thought: “That means God loves loving me!”
As I sat with that thought it felt as if I had swallowed a smile. God loves loving me. That is so cool and I believe so true. God’s love is not some impersonal force that passively flows out of God. God’s love is intentional and motivated by a passionate desire to love. God loves loving me! To me this means that God is looking for ways to love me. It might be in the surprise visit of a friend, a bright penny I find on the ground, a beautiful sunset, a child’s smile, a wonderful piece of music or a refreshing time in God’s Word …the point is that God loves loving me, which in turn means that God is creatively looking for ways to do just that. Of course the ultimate demonstration of God’s love was the gracious gift of his son and his death and resurrection, but that was just the beginning. God continues to love loving you, loving me, and will do so for all eternity.
Okay, that is quite enough from me. I invite you, throughout this next month, to sit with the words, “God loves loving me”. Just let them dance lightly in your mind and heart. Don’t force yourself to bring all your mental powers to bear on these wonderful words but instead let them be like a butterfly flittering here and there. Enjoy the beauty and wonder of these words.
After a while begin to gently interact with these words (God loves loving me). What feelings do these words stir within you? What feelings do these words birth within you related to God? What draws you to these words? What keeps you from fully embracing these words? What images come to mind as you ponder these words? This might be an excellent time for some journaling.
Another way to help this truth seep deeper within you is to take time at the end of your day to pause and ask yourself: How did I experience the God who loves loving me love me today? As you continue to do this throughout the month you will be overwhelmed by the myriad of ways you will begin to see God loving you.
God loves loving you!
God loves loving me!!
God loves loving us!!!
Does anything else really matter?
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