God’s love is great and sweet. That is a concept that I know but do not always grasp with my human mind. Sometimes it takes hearing God’s promises in a format that resonates in order for it to hit home.
I have been listening, almost non-stop, to Hawk Nelson’s newest single “Drops In the Ocean” on their album Diamonds.
It is all about God’s love, God’s forgiveness, His wanting us to come to Him no matter what state we are in or what we have done that may make us think we can’t come to Him.
The words that really hit home:
Cause I am for you
I’m not against you
If you want to know
How far my love can go
Just how deep, just how wide
If want to see
How much you mean to me
Look at my hands, look at my side
If you could count the times I say you are forgiven
It’s more than the drops in the ocean ~ Hawk Nelson
The song has truly been resonating with me as I have been not only struggling with my own anxieties, pain, and lack of direction, but I have been witnessing a dear friend go through hard times lately with the loss of her father and then her husband leaving her just before the holidays. I even wrote a bit about that in an earlier post I did for Christmas.
She said something to me to really hit home. “What did I do to deserve this?” I can’t even count the number of times I have said that to myself, and my husband, over the last seven years. Excruciating back pain, no job, and definite lack of direction has made me wonder what is God trying to tell me? Why has He forsaken me?
Yet, in the Bible, it plainly states, God never forsakes us.
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6
He wants us to understand that so much that it is written in the Bible several times, probably more than I have documented here:
- Deuteronomy 31:8
- Joshua 1:5
- Hebrews 13:5
So, what do you tell a friend who is suffering deep into her spirit? What do you tell yourself? What is the purpose of all of this? Why would God let us suffer so much?
I decided to look up why God lets us suffer so much. At first I looked for “God doesn’t test us beyond what we can handle.” However, I discovered that isn’t even in the Bible. I came across Nate Pyle’s blog, and this is what I found. He states two things in his post on Confronting the lie: God won’t give you more than you can handle.
- That statement is nowhere in the Bible.
- God does allow us to be tested beyond what we can handle because He wants us to come to Him for help!
For we do not want you to be ignorant, brothers and sisters, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. 2 Corinthians 1:8-9
Interesting, because that is pretty much what I told my friend. I told her, God loves you. You did nothing to deserve this. God does not work that way. He loves us! What He does allow is for us to go through hard times (which happens due to sin in the world) to strengthen our need of Him. He wants to know we love Him.
No matter what we do, He will ALWAYS love us. He wants us to come to Him. His love abounds more than we can ever imagine.
I heard a speaker say once that she tried to picture God’s love as M&Ms filling up the entire world, and how His love is even greater than that! I’ll admit the picture of chocolate covering the entire world made me smile, but it also was good symbolism for me to grasp what she was saying. One thing she didn’t say, but came across to me, is that God’s love is not only great but sweet!
No matter how discouraged we get, no matter what we think we have done, or not done, God wants us! God loves us! All we have to do is go to Him, in good times and bad. We need to focus on just what Hawk Nelson wrote in their song and God states in the Bible:
What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31
God is always for us. His love is unfailing. Even though I don’t always grasp it, because I am human, I have to remember that God loves me. He loves my friend. He loves everyone. We can always turn to Him. Through pain, through heartache, through loss of jobs, through death of a loved one, through turmoil that we think we can no longer endure, He is there for us.
Here’s to hoping I can “open my heart” to Him and let Him come in to comfort and love me rather than thinking He is upset and letting things happen as punishment. And here’s to praying my dear friend can do the same.
A prayer that I found at Jenx67, and that she found at OnBeing:
My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always, though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.