Love. Such a powerful word. Why does it intrigue us so much? Why do we hear this word mentioned so many times, and why do we desire it as much as we do? I personally feel we can't survive in life without it. We need to be loved. We find ourselves searching for love. As the song says, sometimes in the wrong places! But the longing for it can lead us to do almost anything!
I'm not talking about romantic love, though it brings strong emotions. The kind of love I'm thinking about is general love. Just knowing one is loved. That you mean something to someone. Are you loved? Do you feel you matter to anyone? If you were to disappear, would anyone miss you? Really?
People can show love in many ways. Recently I asked my Facebook friends how they feel loved by others. The responses were compliments, time spent with them, gifts, words of encouragement. These things are good and reassure us that we indeed are loved by others. But let's face it. People are notorious for being unreliable and inconsistant in showing love. They can love you if you make them feel good about themselves, and then if you don't, they can withdraw their love. And there you are. Wondering what happened. And wondering if you were really loved in the first place. And then, there are those few precious people out there who love you regardless of what you say or what you do or how you make them feel about themselves. They continue to love you. Always being by your side. Always lifting you up. Always available to encourage you and make you feel like you matter. These people are what I call the precious jewels in life. Always to be treasured.
But, there is Someone who promises never to withhold His love for you, no matter what you do or say. And He even gave His life for you on the cross because you do matter! The Bible tells us that God knew us from the beginning, even in our mothers' wombs. Ephesians 1:5-6 tells us "In love, [God] predestined us to be adopted as sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will - to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves." His love isn't based on our works. His love is based on who He is. God is love. In Him we were chosen (Ephesians 1:11). He chose us! He wants us! He loves us! He pursues us! And He wants all of our love: all of our heartfelt, soulfelt and mindfelt love that we can give Him. Someone shared recently in a Bible study that I attend that she feels God created us with a capacity to love Him because He was lonely. Interesting thought.