Tuesday, 31 July 2012

How Deep is Your Love....

Last night I spent the evening with a group of close friends at one of our homes catching up, sharing food and generally having a lovely mummy evening together.
The tv was quietly switched onto a music channel throughout and random songs were playing one after the other.
At one point the BeeGees song "How deep is your love" came on and whilst it didn't stir any real interest, I had noticed and hummed along at one point.
It's a slushy song, but actually I quite like it... Sssshhhhhh, don't tell anyone I admitted that ;-)
I didn't think any more of the song until this morning when I read this scripture:
Ephesians 3:17-18 "...I pray that you would grasp how WIDE and LONG and HIGH  and DEEP is the LOVE of CHRIST..."

In our everyday encounters it can sometimes be difficult to comprehend Gods love for us. As we go about our routines and flit between different people in our lives... spouses / partners / children / friends / colleagues and so on, how often do we feel loved, how often do we think about how much we love and how often do we rest in the ultimate love for us...the love of Christ.

I'm a mum of five children. I love each of my children from the depths of my heart. I cherish them, I adore them...but at times I don't like their behaviours. Our eldest is definitely entering his PRE-teen season of life, and whilst he is an amazing child in many ways, right now, his attitude absolutely stinks at times. I would die for my children, but when they mis-behave, squabble, draw on the wall or spill a drink and don't tell me so it's left for the baby to slip on, I feel hurt. Whilst I know they're "normal" children, it's at times so easy to take their behaviour as a personal full on slap round the face... it never affects my love for them, but because of that love, I can feel sad.
If we have a row with someone, it can build an insecurity in us of that persons feelings towards us. We can doubt how much they love us...when we feel hurt, we can distance ourselves from people as a way of guarding our hearts and believing we're not hurting as much as we'd like them to think.
The truth is as humans, we will all at times hurt one another, and as individuals we always will seek love and acceptance from others.
Sometimes...people fall out of love with oneanother. Couples get divorced, friendships end, families become torn apart by conflict...love is questioned...

Whilst God made us to be fully functioning humans, with feelings, emotions, longings, desires, the want to feel loved...He doesn't want us to be so caught up in what we feel we need or made hard by the situations that we endure that we stop loving, or that we stop focusing on His love for us.
It's only when we can comprehend like the above scriptures says how wide, long, high and deep Gods love is for us that we feel fully secure in how we love and receive love from others.
It's easy for all of us to wonder how much God loves us when we're going through a tough season in life.
I'm sure if we're all really honest we can all put our hands up and say, "Yes, I've asked God, if you love me so much, why has this happened to me?"
Truth is, God never lets us go through anything He knows we can't come overcome, He never deserts us to struggle through alone, He never whips out a big stick to smack us down with when we shift our focus from Him to how we want to do things, He understands our hurt and our questions, and wants to guide us and answer us...if we let Him.

He NEVER stops loving us...NEVER! He sent His one and only son, Jesus to die for us so that we could live in His Freedom, without condemnation, be forgiven, strengthed....sat by His side!
That in itself is the ultimate act of love. Why do we feel we need so much more, when two thousand years ago, the purest act of love was given to us...free...without Him asking for anything back.

I just want to encourage anyone reading this post, that yes, maybe you've been really hurt in your life. Maybe you loved and had that love thrown back in your face. Maybe you trusted someone and they betrayed you and in doing so knocked the confidence out of you to love and trust others...maybe you get jealous of others success and lives that inside you know you hold onto bitterness, resentment and your not fully loving as God intends you to love.
Today, that can change. As much as I feel for you and understand...I too have been hurt and betrayed in my life...I so urge you to let go of the bad stuff. Stop seeking approval and acceptance from people who may not be the right ones to give it to you, and instead shift your focus onto God. A God who loves YOU so DEEPLY that He sent Jesus to die for YOU! If  YOU were the only person to ever live, Jesus would still have died for YOU!
YOU HAVE been and ARE so LOVED... highly, deeply, forever loved.
And when you recognise His love for you and dwell in that, I guarantee, your earthly relationships will flourish.

Psalm 136:26 "Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast LOVE endures FOREVER."

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