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Monday, May 16, 2016

Accepting God's Love

I once read an article on desiringgod.com and even though I don't remember everything the article portrayed, this one illustration has stuck to my head ever since. As the author puts it, God has placed a deep hunger/thirst in everyone of us, an unquenchable one so to say. He designed us in such a way that leaves this huge hole in us that can only be filled by him. As lost sheep, we would go to the ends

of the earth searching for something that could possible fill this hole - career, soulmate, academic achievements, fame, money etc but because a round peg would never fit into a square hole, we are left empty and yearning for that space to be occupied. I have learnt in the past year that every  time I attempt to fill this hole with something other than God, I am left with an even deeper hunger/thirst

Ever since I began a relationship with Christ, I never saw myself as someone that struggled to accept God's love. I understood it and I knew it was very accessible to everyone, quite alright, but never for once have I seen my deep struggle to accept this love. Over the past couple of months, circumstances have opened me up to the reality of my struggle and as I had a chit chat with one of my older friends yesterday, I was amazed at the revelations from the Holy Spirit.

We all face rejection at some point in our lives and many times how we deal with it determines how much of an impact it would have on us moving forward. Rejection used to be one of my greatest fears and I won't say I still don't struggle with it. I have abstained from embarking on a lot of life changing journeys because of my fear of getting rejected. I have chosen to hold back on showing some parts of who I am because I feared rejection. Rejection may come in different forms for all of us but there's no doubt that more often than not, it leaves with a sting of "not being enough"/ inadequacies. This in turn hinders us from accepting the love of God as we are unable to see past the rejection.

I have come to realize that beneath my fear of rejection and the effect it has on me is the resistance to truly accept the love of Christ. The intricacy of Jeremiah 31:3 comes to mind as I try to comprehend God's love and understand my difficulty in accepting it. I'll try to list out some basic things to keep in mind if you also struggle to accept God's love

1. You need to be convinced that God loves you not because of who you are but because of what He is

1 John 4: 8-10 encapsulates this message and we need be liberated from the idea that we have earned or can earn God's love. By nature, God is love and there's nothing that can ever change that. And you know the craziest part, He loves us with or without us accepting it. It is crucial to hold on to this even in the face of rejection as we embrace the wonderful gift that we are not required to meet a certain standard to qualify for this love. Your value is found in the love of Christ because God is love!

2. You don't need to comprehend it, just accept it.

I try to think about it logically, I try to weigh it with intellectual understanding but it just never makes sense. Imagine someone who has seen all the bad things you've done and the horrible things you are even yet to do and still chooses to love you regardless; it makes no sense in logical terms. However, the more you try to make sense out of it, the farther away you are from accepting it. Trust me, tested and tried. I relate God's love to a roller coaster that passes through a particular point every time it goes round. Although this point remains stationary, the people on the roller coaster pass it with fresh excitement with every trip. God's love is designed in such a way that we will continue to be in awe of it with every encounter we have and we just never get to that point where we say: "Oh yes, now I completely comprehend it" It is just one of the many mysteries we can only marvel at but never get to solve, at least while we are still here on earth.

3. You can never be separated from this love.

Romans 8:38-39. I wonder what gave Paul so much confidence and courage to say those words in the passage and it is something I definitely want to have. Isn't it just mind blowing to have such a reassurance? It is also important to note that this is not a free pass for us to live life recklessly but an opportunity to accept this love with the hope of being transformed into the nature of God himself and the grace to share this love with others.

If like myself, you have struggled to accept God's love, try to find out what lies beneath your resistance and ask the Holy Spirit to help you deal with it accordingly. And like I always say, one of the devil's greatest lies is to make you believe you are "struggling"alone! Snap out of it! YOU.ARE.NOT. Try to surround yourself with people whom you can share these struggles with and you will be amazed at how much it takes a village :)

And finally, you cannot be told about God's love enough for you to believe/accept it, you have to seek to experience it yourself.
"The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: "I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness."

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