One of the first songs that I remember having meaning to me was “How He Loves” by the David Crowder Band. It always put this picture in my mind of how much I am loved by someone. I struggled with wanting to be accepted and cared for and I found my answer to these problems in God.
I mean how can these lyrics not do that to you??
He is jealous for me,
Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree,
Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy.
When all of a sudden,
I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory,
And I realize just how beautiful You are,
And how great Your affections are for me.
I get a warm feeling inside knowing that I’m wanted. Even the metaphor of a tree shaking and blowing in the wind of a hurricane gets to me and shows how powerful God’s love is. But it’s not just God’s love that gets me, it’s the reason for God’s love that’s the true kicker.
I, Tayler Johnson, am a sinner. I have committed sins that I am not proud of. I turned away from God and traveled my own path because I thought it would be better for me. I remember thinking that I could be better than God because I wouldn’t have to follow the rules God prepared. I knowingly defied God because I didn’t want to follow Him. I remember testing God.
I remember getting so far away from God that I became lost. I remember being scared because everything around me was falling down. I was having a fall out with my family, an identity crisis took place, financial problems appeared, college was on the way, and the people I loved the most seemed to disappear from my life. I was broken and I didn’t know what to do.
I was invited to a YoungLife event one Monday and I went because I didn’t have anything better to do. I didn’t know it was a Christian group, but I felt welcomed. I heard a sermon that night from Matthew 9:10-13 that was what I would consider my first turning point back to God.
Jesus is eating with the tax collectors and the sinners when the Pharisees asked the disciples “Why is it that Jesus eats with them [tax collectors and sinners] when he could be eating with us?” Jesus’ response opened my eyes. He says “It is not the healthy that need a doctor, but the sick. I desire mercy, not sacrifice. For I have come to call the unworthy and not the righteous”.
All of a sudden, my life flashed before my eyes and I saw that I was sick. I realized (thanks to the Holy Spirit) that I was broken, lost, and I needed to change something in my life. That was the way I felt loved; it was knowing that God came to heal me. That was my path back to God. In writing this post I think there are people out there that are or have experienced the same thing. I am writing this to you.
You see, the more and more I have read scripture the more I have understood why God loves you and me. Humanity is broken and we live in a broken world. Nothing we can do will fix that. If you look through the entire Old Testament you see that there is a constant struggle between God and man. There were times where humanity cried out to God asking for forgiveness and saying “We need you, God”. God would come and strike down their opponents which led to praise for God. But it never lasted. Over time it became “Sorry, but we don’t need you anymore God. We can do this on our own”. There is about a 400-year gap between the Old and New Testaments in which there is no contact really between God and man.
This wasn’t how things were supposed to be and God did only what God could do. God sent himself in the form of his son, Jesus, who lived on earth as man did, except he was perfect in every way. Jesus was crucified on a cross for your sins and mine. We know this to be true, because not only did Jesus die, but he was resurrected by his own power to show that God can overcome all things including death.
Finally touching on the reason for God’s love, it’s because God wants to have a relationship with you. It’s hard to understand why God would want us. I mean there are times when I don’t even want myself. These are some things that I try to remember when I am contemplating God’s love and how I can experience that:
- We cannot understand God’s love because God is infinite unlike us. God’s love is divine, thus it cannot be defined by our terms.
- I believe that we can experience God’s love not only through reading scripture but through the world around us. We can experience God through nature and the like. So go take a hike in nature or the like.
- Worship God through song and look at the words that are on the screen on in a book. I always love to look at the different analogies that are used to show God’s love. For example, “Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree”.
- And please remember this: Whatever it is that you have done, Jesus took the punishment you deserved and died so that you could have the opportunity to experience God yourself. No matter what you have done or how far away you have gone, God will still accept you back because God’s love is deeper than the ocean floor and wider than the east is from the west.
I believe God’s love abounds in all circumstances. For the person who has experienced loss, is going through pain, or feels lost in their relationship with God, God wants to fill that hole and complete you. There is not a formula to comprehend the love only God has. There is nothing you have to do deserve this love either. You do not have to like x,y or z. You just have to say yes and God can begin to work in your life. It is a process that will take some time to grow, but I can personally say that in the times that I needed God the most, He was there. And I realize how great His affections are for me.
My prayer for y’all today is that God’s love would overcome any barriers that are keeping you and God from being fully together. I pray for opportunities to not only see and know God more, but also that you would be able to experience a deeper relationship with Him. I pray for joy and happiness to fill your life.