We all yearn for love… and we long for it intensely. I would dare say many, if not most, of our decisions are based on the need to be loved and cared for. Sometimes we are so blinded by this need, we look for that love in all the wrong places (as the once popular country song puts it), much to the chagrin of those around us who see trouble ahead. Some are involved in one bad relationship after another, while others find comfort in work, money, job status, alcohol and/or drugs. Our desire to be loved, I believe, is one that has been placed there by none other than God Himself, and I also believe that, while there are those on this earth He has given us to love and receive that love from, there is a God-sized hole in our hearts reserved for Him alone.
I love movies, and one of my favorites is The Princess Diaries… a story of a plain Jane teen who discovers she is a princess. She takes ‘Princess lessons’ from her Grandmother, Queen of the small country of Genovia, and on the very night she has decided to turn down the crown, she finds a letter written to her by her deceased Father. His gentle loving words to his daughter he had never met in person are powerful, and recently, as I watched this clip of the movie, it dawned on me that our Heavenly Father has also signed His love letter to His children, ‘love, your Father’.
The gospel of John makes the bold statement that ‘as many as received Him (Jesus), to them gave He power to become sons of God, even to them who believe on His name’. Christians (and others) are very quick to note we are all ‘Children of God’. But, we are not ALL children of God, but those who ‘believe on His Name’… that is.. the name of Jesus, who came to reveal the love of God and take on Himself the retribution for the sin of every person who has ever lived, is living now, and will live. That is a lot of wrath to bear, all for the sake of love.
The idea of being royalty, let alone children of the living God, staggers the imagination, but it is a vital part of who we are as Christians. It is not in our works, prayers, church going, or any other activity we can come up with, but rather yielding to His love, what He did on the cross, and surrendering to that relationship with Him, getting to know Him and learning to trust Him daily. If we don’t truly know Him, we won’t trust Him, and if we don’t trust Him, how can we ‘rest in Him’ as the Bible instructs us to?
My mind keeps going back to the tender, loving voice speaking words of encouragement to his daughter, who was frightened and ready to run away. I remind myself that, no matter what scares me, no matter how life hurts, my Father loves me with that same tenderness and I CAN trust Him. As God has been teaching me to stop striving and just rest in Him, the message gets clearer … I am a child of the King, and do not need to fear. God DOES love me, more than I can love myself. Our family, spouse, friends will let us down in one way or another, but God’s love is not a selfish love… He is not as earthly fathers are, but loves with a perfect love. The question is… do we dare put down our defenses and let Him love us, or reject Him as so many have? Do we venture to the cross where God lay down His life for us so that we can enjoy that loving relationship with Him forever? Our response to Him will determine our eternal destination, as well as our contentment here in this life on earth.