by Molly Audiss

It’s still true-He loves you.

Verse for the week:  John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish but have everlasting life.

This week we are going to push that reset button that needs to be pushed every once in awhile.  There is no new thought or new idea.  This week is just that most important reminder-God loves you.

Before we go any farther, stop, take a deep, slow breath.  In fact, go get yourself a cup of coffee or hot tea.  Just relax for a couple minutes and pause to think about it, savor it-God loves you.

For right now don’t worry about all the stresses in your life.   Whether you are working long hours to pay the bills, or going 100 miles an hour as Mom’s taxi for the kids.  It could be that you feel your life is exciting, or maybe it seems boring and fruitless.  It does not really matter where you are, how much you have accomplished, how close you are to your goals, if you have any goals, or if others view you as important or unimportant.  Why?  Because God loves you.  He loves you because He loves you, not because what you do impresses Him.

Now, if right away you are thinking- “God is probably not very happy with me right now.”  Then I am talking to you.  If your first thought is, “I don’t feel loved,” then I am talking to you.  If you have heard “God loves you” all your life, but it doesn’t really seem to mean anything, then I am talking to you.  Sometimes we can hear a truth, and it just does not penetrate.

I am saying that the fact is, God loves you.  I do not mean that He loves all of us, collectively, in one big bunch.  I mean, He loves you personally, intimately, deeply, and all the time.  He created and wanted you, just the way you are.  I can be a cynic if I am not careful, and I can think those negative thoughts, like, “Well, maybe God created me right, but I have really messed things up since then.”  I am talking to all you cynics out there in cyberspace.  If and when the truth of His love for you reaches your heart, it will change everything!  His love gives meaning to life.  Don’t feel like an outsider or a failure if you just cannot seem to grasp that God really does love you personally.  Ask Him to work a miracle for you, and break through your tough exterior, and allow you to feel loved.  Only He can do that.  No amount of trying on your part is going to work.  Stop trying.  Ask the Lord this year to give you the ability to feel loved by Him.  Don’t go one more year without it.

Sometimes I can grasp a concept more easily through comparison.  I may have difficulty feeling love, but I can more easily understand the love I have for others.  I am a mom, and I can comprehend the unconditional love I have for my sons.  My love is not increased or decreased by their performance.  I do not love them any less when they leave the toilet seat up, or when they forget to take off their muddy shoes, or if they refuse to eat my meals.  My love is not determined by their attitude, their obedience, or their achievements.  Moms, you all feel that way about your own kids.  I hope my boys don’t disappoint me someday, but I am confident that, no matter what, I will always love them.  That is just a microcosm of God’s love.

For all of you unemotional types, I say, let yourself feel the love of Christ.  Think about it every now and again until it brings tears to your eyes.  If it helps you to feel more when you are listening to a song about His love on your phone, then play the song, and think about it.  Whatever you need to do, take time, like right now, to realize that He is so amazingly in love with you!

What do you think about during the Lord’s Supper that makes you feel close to Jesus?  It is different for each person, depending on each personality.  I was a serious child, and I often felt alone, even in a crowd.  I struggled much with feeling lonely, and, for that reason, I often think about how lonely Christ was while on Earth.  Not one single person could identify with Him.  He was always leading, and could not have a single friend with whom he was an equal.  Time and time again, He was misunderstood.  I wonder at all the lonely nights He spent, with no home of His own, and no other human being to share His feelings.  It is no wonder how often He spent time with the Father in prayer.  That was the only time when His purposes and burdens could be understood.  Yet, he spent those lonely, misunderstood years because He loved me.  He loved you.  Wow!  It is an awesome thought.

As you read this email, please know that God brought it your way because He wants to remind you today that He loves you.  He knows your hardships, and your sorrows, and He wants you to feel, right now, that He sees you, He knows you, He understands you, and GOD LOVES YOU!!!