I was riding in a minivan, my sister at the wheel, my young niece in the back seat on our way to…. well, get ice cream. It sounds pretty ridiculous, doesn’t it? Somehow in her young, immature mind, she had interpreted the phrases, “wait,” and “not yet,” with “you don’t love me.”
And then a few days ago I was talking to my friend, Emily. We were processing life and she was talking about her struggle with God over an unanswered prayer. “It sounds like you are only willing to receive God’s love in one, very narrow way – if He gives you this specific thing that you are praying for.” Her reply: “I’m such a brat!” The thing is, I am to. I was projecting my own experiences on to her and hit a nerve in both of our hearts.
I like to think that I have moved past my niece’s childlike perspective when she is quickly offended by her parents’ provision in their boundaries, discipline, teaching, and lavish love. But I haven’t.
I spend lots of time talking to others about God’s love. His constant, persistent pursuit of me, and His lavish provision. The reality is, as much as a take comfort in His unconditional love, I waste way too much energy and effort twisting and misinterpreting His unconditional love into the conditional variety. “If God truly loved me, He would…..” Just fill in the blank. I may not state it in those terms, because that would sound the alarm bells of heresy in my head. Yet, my heart coddles a victim mentality, somehow taking a perverted sense of comfort in entertaining the idea that God is holding out on me.
God who created the beauty, complexity and mystery of the world I live in every day so that I will know His character and His love.
God who knit me together in my mother’s womb and knows how many hairs are on my head as well as every thought I have before I have it.
God who gave us relationships with others as well as with Himself to fill our lives with love and belonging.
God who is patient with my fits and failures. Never exhausting his ability to extend forgiveness and love.
God who gives me each breath I breathe, and everything else necessary for life and thriving.
God who promises to be my shepherd, comforter, healer, companion, refuge, strength……
God who takes even my brokenness and pain and transforms it into something beautiful and precious to me and to Him.
God, who gave the life of his one and only Son to pay the consequences for my search for life apart from Him.
Why do I persist in trying to convince myself that He doesn’t truly love me just because the snapshot of the moment leaves me wanting something that doesn’t even compare to that which He has already given me?
The only answer I have is that I am still His little girl and I have a long way to grow.