Where are your "thin places"? The corners of your heart you're not even sure you can whisper out loud?
I asked before I started this series. Answers came pouring back in. And though most of them varied, one stood out above the rest, hoarsely scripted in the responses: I struggle to believe God loves me.
Why is this singular truth so hard for us to swallow? And yet some of us gag on it, like a pill we can't accept. We want to believe it, but choke it out of our systems.
When we can't swallow pills, they need to be injected.
We need this truth strapped to our veins like IVs, pumping a steady stream to our hearts.
If you're anything like me, some mornings you struggle to get out of bed before feeling like a failure. Easily overwhelmed and prone to anxiety, I wrestle to seek truth before rising to meet the day.
Love, love, love.
Every once in awhile this truth manages to arrest my heart and when it does, the tears come flooding. We all have our own demons. Creatures that come to strangle this life-truth.
Like audible whispers, they coo in our ears "If God loved you...
...he wouldn't have let that happen
...he would have kept you safe
...he would made it work out
Or sometimes if you're like me, you look at yourself and think, there's no way there's love enough for me.
We need loved strapped to our veins like IVs, pumping a steady stream of truth to our hearts.
So I went on a love-quest in the Bible. I wanted to hear God utter those very words I long to hear. I wanted to hear I love you.
I found them in the most hope-giving context. In the book of Isaiah, nestled in between hardship, exile and extreme sin. The people of Israel and Judah had abandoned their faith in Yah-weh. They were faithless, wretchedly entrenched in sin, and in the following hundred years they would be scattered, destroyed and exiled from their homes.
But in the midst of all this, God speaks through his prophet Isaiah. And thousands of years later, he speaks to my heart as well.
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior...
...Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
and because I love you,
I will give people in exchange for you,
nations in exchange for your life. (Isaiah 43:1-4)
...Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give my SON in exchange for you...
Friend, believe it.
Swallow that pill: you are loved.
God did give someone in exchange for you, in exchange for your life. He gave himself, he gave his Son. He's withheld nothing to be in relationship with you.
So join me today, hands open, and brave enough to accept this furious love. Love who pursues you, chases you down and longs to arrest your heart entirely.