By Robin Thomas
Recently I’ve been thinking about God and His love for us. Once more I wondered why it is that I have been a believer for most of my life and yet now, in my 40s, I still struggle with that concept.
From a young age, I’ve placed my faith and trust in Christ’s infinite love and ultimate death for all mankind. That’s easy for me to believe, a sort of generalized for God so loved the world … all of us, every single man, woman and child concept.
I love that. It’s what I’ve based my faith on. But lately I’ve found myself zeroing in on other believers that I know who demonstrate a genuine, passionate love for Jesus that puts my own faith to shame. They communicate with Him on a one-to-one, personal level. They call Him their best friend. Their relationship with Him seems to be as natural and effortless as breathing. It makes me realize there’s still a lot missing in my own relationship with Him.
I wonder sometimes if I really LOVE God, or if I just respect Him.
When I think about God, I have trouble going from Him being the Almighty God, Creator of the Universe (respect) to Him being as close to me as my very breath (love). I have trouble going from He died for all (respect) to He died for me (love).
As I thought about this, I gave myself permission to momentarily put aside all the other people in the world and just soak in the knowledge that He died for ME. Just for me. He loved ME so much that He gave His life for ME. HIM for ME. Him, in all His glory, for just plain old me.
That was surprisingly, really hard for me, because when it comes right down to it, I know that I’m just NOTHING. Why on earth would He bother giving His life for me? What’s in it for Him? It’s one thing to lump myself in with the rest of mankind and then I can sort of make that compute because, well, He died so that He could spend eternity with all of us and that’s a different deal.
But just me? One person? How is that even worth it? I’m hardly the life of the party. There’s nothing special or significant about me.
I realize the truth is that none of us is anything special, in and of ourselves. Not even the best Christians who ever walked the earth, the Billy Grahams and the Corrie Ten Booms. And yet, the Bible seems to indicate that He does love each one of us enough to give His life for us. I still had trouble with that. Perhaps I needed a picture to help me understand.
I thought of my cat Jasmine sitting on the counter doing nothing, looking all sweet and adorable. I tried to view her through the eyes of an impartial observer and I suppose I can see how, to somebody who doesn’t love her as I do, she is just a scrawny little cat, common and ordinary. Her crystal-blue eyes are one of her best features, but in my eyes, she’s absolutely beautiful, special and unique. I want to grab her and kiss her all over her fuzzy little face every time I see her. She’s my girl and I love her to pieces.
Then it hit me. My love is what makes her special. My love is the mystery ingredient that gives her significance. Without my love, she’s just an ordinary, scrawny little house cat. But viewed through my eyes of love, she becomes so much more.
By ourselves, minus God’s love we are nothing. NOTHING! But when we accept God’s love for us, we become something.
We have nothing to offer Him that could possibly justify His giving His life for us. God is already complete in His perfection, so we can lend nothing else to the mix. Why on earth would He die for us? Because He loves us.