Contributing Writer: Amy Sizemore
Do you love God as much as you would like to love Him? That is the question. That is the question posed on page 13 of Falling In Love Again with Your Lord that stopped me in my tracks for 3 days. How do I…where do I begin to answer that question?
Here were my issues:
1. How do I measure my love for God? A: Through my obedience to Him.
2. Do I measure my love for God? Do I give myself a point each time I obey Him? A: No.
3. How do I measure what I can’t see? I’ve said “I love God, I love Jesus” my entire life…born a preacher’s daughter. Do I really? My eyes cannot see Him. I do believe He’s there. I do believe Jesus has revealed the Father to me as He says in Mt. 11:27 and Luke 10:22 and I do believe I have seen myriad evidences of Him. I think Heaven sounds like a place I cannot wait to get to and I’ve read as much as I can about it. I’ve read as much description of God and where He is as I can find but it’s all very vague since after all, “man cannot see God and live” (Exodus 33:20). The 2nd commandment tells us we cannot make an image of Him. Hebrews 1:3 says, “Jesus is the exact representation of God’s being” I accept that, but One’s a Father and One’s a Son. My human mind is certain there must be some distinguishing differences.
4. Then there’s the part about suffering. God allows suffering. And if we are going to love God and follow Christ, we are going to suffer. That is the deal-breaker for me. I don’t like that part. I have had periods of suffering in my life. One, the first, was very traumatic. Extremely traumatic, and the suffering continues to this day. I don’t like it. What happened? Well, the living body of Christ surrounded my family and I met the living God for the first time. And…permanent scars were left on my family and on my heart. Was there really no other way?
I hear His still small voice gently say to me, “Amy, there was no other way.”
Why would I run to the God of the Universe for healing and help if I was never wounded beyond what was fixable? If I have everything I want and never need something beyond what I am able to obtain, why would I need an ongoing relationship with God? I believe He is there. I believe in Jesus and His powerful sacrifice for my soul. I am redeemed. So what would keep me in a daily relationship with Him? I can tell you that. Not a thing. My eyes feast on every natural and material beauty of this world. My body craves applause. I want more and more and more of everything. All the beauty my eyes can behold. I want to be there. I want to see it. I want to go. I want to collect it. I want, I want, I want.
God has everything. Everything. Greater beauty than any man has ever seen. It’s my inheritance. Do I get that? Do I really believe Him? Do I really take Him at His word?
What God wants is me.
At any cost. He already gave His only Son on my behalf. Would He stop at a little suffering on my part?
Truly, I hope not.
Do I want Him?
Do I want Him at any cost? Yes!
Do I love Him as much as He wants me to love Him? There’s no way.
Do I love Him as much as I would like to love Him? Judging by my relationship with my husband, I love every day we have together. I love his joy, his exuberance, his nearness, that he knows me inside and out and loves me still, and that he is always for me. Do I love my husband as much as I would like to love him? There’s no way. I think he’s wonderful and I fall so far short in showing him and telling him that.
So I guess the question for me is…Do I love God enough to be willing to suffer for Him?
Would I suffer for my husband if good was to come from it? Yes, absolutely.
So should my response be any different for the God of the Universe Who has already suffered for me?
He has loved me with an everlasting love says Jeremiah 31:3. He has so many great things in store. More than I could ever even ask for or imagine says Ephesians 3:20. He desires for there to be no more suffering and there will be a day when it is no more. I know that from Jeremiah and Revelation.
Until then, Father God, in Your ever loving kindness, help me to love You with all of my heart, soul, mind, and strength and to know Your love that surpasses all my human knowledge and understanding. Help me to trust Your ways. All your ways toward me are good and You are loving toward all you have made says Psalm 145. Help me to get that. You are worthy, O Lord. You alone are worthy of ALL of my praise.