After some very rough years, she found some of her old journals and read through them. Many brought back fond memories. Others memories weren’t so pleasant. But she found it interesting to compare her earliest years as a Christian with what she knew now as a more mature Christian. Then she ran into an entry that stopped her cold.
“OK, Lord, I did my Bible study even though I’m very tired. Before I go to bed, do you have anything to say?
“I love you. I always has loved you and I always will love you. Believe Me when I say this. It will be a strength to you. You’ll need it in the future. Don’t forget.”
She thought about that. His love is her strength?
When I’m sick with the flu, how will knowing He loves me strengthen me?
When my boss is on a rampage and I get the brunt of it, how will knowing God loves me strengthen me?
If my kids are misbehaving and I’m worn out from the daily stresses of life, how will knowing God loves me strengthen me?
“Lord, I don’t know if I understand. I believe You love me and always will. And I know that I’m going to need your strength in the future. But what do You mean that knowing Your love for me will be my strength?
“You don’t need to understand right now. Trust Me and get to know your strength – My love – now before it’s too late.”
“If You say so. How do I get to know Your love?”
“Read My book. Ask Me questions and listen for the answers.. Learn. Study. Memorize verses that will help. Talk with the spiritually mature about Me. And most importantly, talk with Me as I give you opportunities to experience My love.”
She had accepted His words and agreed to study and pray. And she did for a number of years. But then things changed and life happened and seeking to know His love got pushed farther and farther into the background until she had forgotten all about it.
Wow, she thought now. I didn’t understand then, but I do now. Knowing He loves me is all that matters. It outweighs everything around me.
When I’m sick, knowing He loves me gives me the strength to walk out that path. It reassures me that I’m not alone, He’s right there with me, watching over me, doing what’s best for me whether I’m healed quickly or slowly or not at all. Besides, I may be sick physically, but I’m not sick spiritually. No illness on earth can hurt me spiritually.
When my boss mistreats me, knowing God loves me gives me the strength to keep my head up. It protects me from letting those words and actions deep inside me where it can cause damage. No matter what the boss says, God says I’m loved and valued and treasured. I can shake off the abusive words like a dog shakes off water after a bath. And I can rest assured that if action needs to be taken, God will take care of it.
When my kids are misbehaving and I’m worn out from the daily stresses of life, knowing God’s love gives me the strength to keep going. Knowing that He understands my weariness and frustrations and loves me anyway and that I don’t have to do anything to earn that love, gives me the confidence to rest in His arms and let Him fill me. His love can energize me to handle the kids and stresses. I can be renewed and refreshed each day.
And He was right about not waiting until it was too late, she thought regretfully. If I had persevered in getting to know His love back then like I should have, my life could have been so different. Much less pain, confusion, fear, and anger. It could have been so much more amazing, effective and powerful for the Kingdom.
She felt bad. If only she had heeded His words. But there was no way to go back and change anything.
Well, she thought, if I can’t go back to change my past, maybe I can share my story with someone and change their future.
Friends, get to know God’s love for you. Not just about it in your head, but really deep down in your guts know it. It will be a strength to you. Trust me on this. Better yet, trust God!