Is there a way to KNOW God loves you? We can’t get away from the cheesy emoticon bumper-stickers that say “Smile, God loves you!” Does it ever feel like people are “just saying that”? Have you ever felt like saying, “It’s been such a crappy day/week/month/year/life that it sure doesn’t feel like it”?
If we are struggling with the question of lovability, hearing about God’s love for you can almost feel nauseating in its commonality.
I am a worrier. I worry about everything. I worry about every single decision I make, from what to make for dinner to whether or not I should spend those $20 extra at the grocery store. I worry about my abilities as a wife and a mother. I worry about my eating habits, my weight, my beauty and my ability to be loved. I worry about my children and their futures. I worry about my husband and his health. I worry about the health of my relationships with friends and family members. I worry about my problems and other people’s problems ’til I can’t sleep at night. But there is one thing I no longer worry about
The first question this obviously leads to is, what is God’s will for us? We think of it as something scary, oppressive, controlling. When we consider following God’s will, we tend to think only of rules and regulations. We think of lines like, “Whomever wants to come after me must take up his cross and follow me” (Mt. 16:24) and of having to do hard things and give up what we are most attached to. We think of having to change. We think of Job, Lazarus and Calvary. How could that possibly make us happy? What’s in it for me if I’m called to “die to myself” (Mk. 8:35, Jn. 12:24, etc)?
Are you ever angry about life? Don’t know why things are going the way they are? Are you having trouble believing that you can let go of control in your life in order to find peace? Despite your efforts, are your well-intentioned and well-designed life plans somehow not working out or living up to everything you imagined? Are you blaming it on God?
Are you ever jealous of people who seem to have a close relationship with God? Do you wish that following Him didn’t seem like such a chore? Have you ever heard that religion is more like “falling in love” than following rules or memorizing bible verses? Do you ever wish that you felt that way? In love with something you knew was right? Do you wonder if a relationship with God could actually be fulfilling? Dancing with God is the answer!
How do you feel about the way others see you and the way you see yourself? Did you ever try to put on a front hoping to make someone else see you in a different light than how you see yourself? Have you ever wondered how God sees you? Have you ever wanted to see yourself in the same light?
There’s a whole new craze of self esteem promos out lately… how are those working out for you? Does repeating a mantra change the way you see yourself? Does it ever make you feel torn between worlds when the way you see yourself, the way others see you and the reality of who you want to be don’t seem to match up? Have you ever asked why?
A genuine relationship with God fills each and every human need.
Without a recognition of our need for Him we can never embark upon a genuine relationship with Him.