Most people welcome a special day to celebrate love in the middle of the coldest and most depressing part of winter, but not everyone. For some people, last Sunday, Valentine's Day, was another holiday that makes them feel alone and depressed.
I know just how true this is because I often felt that way when I was married. (If you want to learn why I say that, read my essay on Kim Hess' blog: Divorce Guru.) By the grace of God, I no longer battle those feelings. Now, I have a treasure box I open when I am tempted to believe nobody loves me and I am alone. I want to share my treasures with you. I want to show you why I have the confidence of a well-loved woman.
My first treasure: God the Father loves me just as He loves Jesus.
Jesus loves me just as He loves God the Father.
That statement does not say God the Father loves me just as much as He loves Jesus. It does not say Jesus loves me just as much as He loves God the Father. This same
love that God the Father and Jesus give each other, they also each give to me!
Jesus explained this to the disciples in John 15:9, "As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you…" Jesus also prayed about this in John chapter 17. In verse 23 He said, "That the world may know that You… have loved them as You have loved Me." In verse 26, Jesus said that one of the reasons He declared God's name was so that "the love with which You loved Me may be in them." Think about that: God's love for me, in me.
Not "pie-in-the-sky" love, this love is for here, for now. The apostle Paul asks us this question in Romans chapter 8: "Who can separate us from the love of Christ? Can trouble or hardship or persecution or hunger or nakedness or danger or sword?"
He answers the question by saying, "No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future nor any power, neither height nor depth nor anything else in all creation can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus, our Lord." Can any love be more powerful than that? That love is for me, for you!
For years, I wrestled with the concept that God loves me. Forget that He loves me with this all surpassing, all encompassing love. I just could not see how God could love me with even the weakest kind of love, something like a lukewarm affection. Who was I for God to love me?
I felt that way because I misunderstood God. I saw Him as emotionally cold, frozen in eternity, wearing a happy face when seen from one perspective and a disapproving face from another. If I thought of God as having emotions, I thought they were more distant, like what we experience when we hear about a stranger dying in a car accident instead of the powerful emotions that would be magnified had our child died in an accident.
With the help of the Holy Spirit, I realized eventually that what the Bible said was true. God's love for me is the same as the powerfully passionate love the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit have for each other. Fully accepting God's love for me helped me to understand why Jesus dedicated Himself to die for me and why He continues to intercede for me in Heaven; I could see why the Holy Spirit is willing to live in my far-from-perfect heart. It is all because God loves me!
What a priceless treasure it is to know His love. If I begin to feel rejected or lonely, I take out this treasure and remember that God set my value in this amazing measure of His love and I cherish the knowledge that I am a well-loved woman.