Letting God Love You
By Dot Bowen
For God so loved the world that He gave [emphasis added] His only Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 (ESV)
I was recently reading Max Lucado’s book, One Incredible Moment, when a quote caught my attention: “My kids let me love them.” I immediately thought, God, do I let You love me or, do I resist Your love because I don’t love me? It’s a great question, and I believe Max Lucado provides perspective for us as we ponder the answer to that question. I hope you enjoy this excerpt from One Incredible Moment.
My daughters are too old for this now, but when they were young—crib-size and diaper-laden—I would come home, shout their names, and watch them run to me with extended arms and squealing voices. For the next few moments we would speak the language of love. We'd roll on the floor, gobble bellies, and tickle tummies and laugh and play.
We delighted in each other's presence. They made no requests of me, with the exception of "Let's play, Daddy." And I made no demands of them, except, "Don't hit Daddy with the hammer."
My kids let me love them.
But suppose my daughters had approached me as we often approach God. "Hey, Dad, glad you're home. Here is what I want. More toys. More candy. And can we go to Disneyland this summer?"
"Whoa," I would have wanted to say. "I'm not a waiter, and this isn't a restaurant. I'm your father, and this is our house. Why don't you just climb up on Daddy's lap and let me tell you how much I love you?"
Ever thought God might want to do the same with you? "Oh, he wouldn't say that to me." He wouldn't? Then to whom was he speaking when he said, "I have loved you with an everlasting love" (Jer. 31:3 NIV)? Was he playing games when he said, "Nothing ... will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ" (Rom. 8:39)? Buried in the seldom-quarried mines of the Minor Prophets is this jewel: The LORD your God is with you; the mighty One will save you. He will rejoice over you. You will rest in his love; he will sing and be joyful about you. (Zeph. 3:17)
Note who is active and who is passive. Who is singing, and who is resting? Who is rejoicing over His loved one, and who is being rejoiced over?
We tend to think we are the singers and God is the “singee.” Most certainly that is often the case. But apparently there are times when God wishes we would just be still and (what a stunning thought!) let Him sing over us.
I can see you squirming. You say you aren’t worthy of such affection? Neither was Judas, but Jesus washed his feet. Neither was Peter, but Jesus fixed him breakfast. Neither were the Emmaus-bound disciples, but Jesus took time to sit at their table.
Besides, who are we to determine if we are worthy? Our job is simply to be still long enough to let Him have us and let Him love us.
Wow! As I sat in my chair reflecting on this, I told God I wanted to be still before Him and accept His love for me. It isn’t about how I feel, it’s about how He feels about me. And if accepting His love isn’t challenging enough, being still before Him during the busiest time of the year seems impossible. But, at that moment, I knew there was nothing I wanted more. It’s easy to spend hours buying and wrapping gifts just to be able to see eyes light up as the gifts are unwrapped. But what if those receiving our gifts never stopped long enough to even come and accept the gifts that were so carefully chosen for them? Just how long has it been since you let God love you?
God’s big gift to us is the gift of His Son. The gifts of forgiveness, freedom, hope, and so much more are like amazing stocking stuffers. But we must pause long enough to open each of these gifts. Will you let God love you? Will you pause long enough this Christmas season to open the gifts He has for you? I’m not just asking you these questions, I’m asking myself as well.
Thanks be to God for the gift He has given. That gift is too wonderful for words! (2 Corinthians 9:15) You are precious to Him. So precious that He became like you so that you would come to Him.
Further Reading Jeremiah 31:3; Romans 8:39; Zephaniah 3:17; 1 Corinthians 2:9