Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Love of God

He said: The love of God is not His pining for your happiness...it's His resolving the sin problem.
By 'he', I mean Reverend Rick Downs. 

I've been exploring various churches in New England, both in Boston and on the North Shore...embracing this time in my life to be open to new denominations, new ideas, new ways of worship. It's been good. Each week I've appreciated different things that I've encountered and have simultaneously been challenged. 

In the midst of the liturgy and hymns of this Presbyterian church in Cambridge, I found myself struck by the words above. 

It wasn't a new thought, per se... but it was a thought that I needed to be reminded of. 
I get so caught up in the wanting God to want good for me, in the praying that I would trust that He wants good for me... and I get so caught up in the 'good' equaling 'happiness'. 

The love of God is not His pining for your happiness
At the end of the day, God's love isn't displayed in a way that caters to our temporal happiness. 

His love is resolving the sin problem
At the end of the day, God's love is infinitely more than longing for me to be happy in the here and now. His love is displayed through the work of the cross, through the death and resurrection of Christ, through finding a way to be united with us once more for all of eternity. His love is about resolving the sin problem that separated us in the first place. 

And yet I too easily find myself frustrated and disappointed when things aren't going how I think they should go. I too easily think that if things aren't going well for me, that somehow God is to blame. I struggle with believing that God is good to me. I struggle with believing that God wants good for me

It's this selfish mentality that I've adopted and it's the lens I live my through...the belief that I deserve happiness. God owes me happiness. If I'm going to surrender my life to Him and do things for Him, don't I get something in return? Shouldn't I? 

As ugly as it is, I fear that it's our expectation more often than we'd like to admit. Because if there's nothing in it for us, what's the point? 

This is where there's a beautiful depth that comes in that I often fail to grasp or understand...but it doesn't change the fact that it's there. The depth of God's love for us is infinitely beyond what I could hope for or imagine in this lifetime, so far beyond the happiness that I think I deserve in the moment. There's a God who made the ultimate sacrifice so I could be with Him for eternity, and yet I still demand more... 

I'm glad I don't serve a God who is pining for my happiness...because I know His love has accomplished something greater. I know His love is immeasurably deeper, longer, wider, higher. And while I deserved death, He has given me life. 

It's worth a life of surrender.
He has already given all.
How could I ask for anything more? 

I'm praying we would feel the depth and reality that Jesus Christ is truly enough. That our hearts would be satisfied. That we would live in humble adoration of a God whose love has solved the sin problem...for all of eternity. 

I am in awe. 

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1 comment:

  1. Whew, Rick Downs bringing it!

    I often struggle with that same "but why don't I feel happy right NOW!?!?" problem. It's a sucker.

    Yep. Sin is bigger though. And there is happiness here and more happiness later. Sorrowful yet always rejoicing.