To be loved for who you are. To be known, fully–the good and the bad, the put together and the undone–and still be totally accepted. To be vulnerable and transparent, and yet not afraid of betrayal or manipulation. To be cherished and adored. To always feel respected, and protected. To feel as though you are the single most important person in the heart of another. We all long for a perfect love.
I’ve been blessed to know the love of an incredible mother. To this day, she is a ray of joy and my closest of friends. My father has been one of my greatest sources of strength and stability. I know the love of a good father. In a world where so many are growing up without their father in the home, or maybe never even knowing who their father is, it can be difficult to accept that having a strong relationship with a father is possible or even desirable. I believe it is, for a number of reasons, but I start with this. When I met the one who’s very essence is love, the love I’d received from my own parents just paled in comparison. I struggled to comprehend why he would give up so much for someone like me. When I met him I was mean and angry. I was untrusting, unforgiving, and could be quite vindictive. More than anyone else in my life, he could see the true me behind my smile. He knew the very feelings and thoughts I fought through daily just to present a disciplined, loveable person. He knew all the mistakes I’d made, the pain I’d endured, the pain I’d caused…he knew it all, and yet he extended his hand, shared his heart, and loved me. His love has walked me out of darkness and showed me a new life. He is my Heavenly Father.
God’s love is a love like no other. If I had to convince you to agree with me, I’d tell you: God does love you. He’s in hot pursuit for your heart; He wants a love relationship with you (I John 4:10, 19). His love for you is everlasting (Jer. 31:3; 2 Thes. 2:16); there is nothing that you can ever do or say to change how hard, or how deeply he loves you (Rom 8:38-39). He will never abandon you(Deut. 31:6, Heb 13:5). He would go to the depths of the earth to come after you (Ps 139:7-12). You are so valuable to Him, that He would withhold nothing to be with you (John 4:16, I John 4:9, Rom 5:6-7). You are the apple of His eye; his sheer delight (Deut 32:9-10). You bring Him joy, and He rejoices over you (Is 62:4-6). He’s gone to great lengths to ensure you are His eternally; even exchanging tattoos (Eph 4:30, Isa 49:15-16 )! And it is that love that makes life worth living, really living (John 10:10).
I’ve been walking in this love relationship with God for at least two decades, and I am still experiencing new depths in His love. If you haven’t tried Him, you should. There is no love on earth as sweet as His, and as much as I’d love to be able to describe the whole of being loved by God, the words often escape me…even when I try to comprehend it for myself! God has gifted us with a few key human relationships to give us a glimpse at understanding His love for us. We have parental relationships, which may or may not be pleasant. We have the marriage relationship, which is used throughout the bible to parallel God’s love for us. Nonetheless, these relationships are still limited in helping us comprehend His love because of the human element. We tend to mess it up, even with our best intentions. His love is perfect, and only He can administer it with perfection.
If you haven’t already accepted His invitation into this great relationship with Him, do it now! Just pray the prayer of salvation below. By doing so, the gap, caused by sin, that separates you from God will be closed and you can know the love of God for yourself. Ready?
Jesus, I know that I have sinned and am in need of a Savior.
I believe that when you went to the Cross, you went there for me and all my sins.
I trust You to save me right now. I give you my life.
Today, I know I’m saved and that You forgive me, but help me to understand what it means to live for you every day. Amen.
To my friends who’ve lost your father, I know Father’s Day can be an especially difficult day. Find rest and joy in the loving arms of your Heavenly Father. My prayers are with you. Be blessed.