The following passage is from Chapter 7 of our book “Where are all the Men?”
“God is love. He is mystery. So love is in a way mystery. We cannot understand the enormity of His love for us, since it is mystery. There is nowhere that God’s love is not. It is a bit like gravity – you cannot control, demand it or grasp it. But it is always there. It is sheer gift. So what we crave from the instant we are born to our dying breath is unconditional love.”
The need for God’s love is written into our spiritual DNA.
No-one can deny that, deep down, we all seek love – we crave it. Much of what is wrong with our society today is that we seek it from wrong places, places that cannot, will not ever, satisfy this longing placed in us by God. We seek it in others, we seek it in success, we seek it in money, or power, or sex…
And what we get in return is not love, either. We get approval – for the grades we get at school, for the house we live in, the car we drive, the job and career that we have, Or how we look, the clothes we wear. But mostly this approval is short-lived, because envy creeps in to the minds of those that flatter us with these empty value-judgements.
In our overstressed world we must take a time of quiet and stillness to let these distractions fall away. They are taking us away from the truth that is God: of His unconditional love, the love that we are seeking all along.
“Enter the inner room of your soul, shut out everything except God, and that which can help you in seeking Him, and when you have shut the door, say ‘Now with my whole heart, God, I seek Your love, show me Your love.’” (After St Anselm of Canterbury).
We are invited by God to come to this place of stillness where He will impart the truth of His extravagant, passionate, complete love for us as if we were the only person in the world. All we have to do is respond, as we are called to, by God Himself.
“In your inner place Your God is there with you. He will rejoice over you with happy songs. He will renew you by His love.” Zephaniah 3 v 17, 18. Here in this place of quiet He will invite you to a heart-knowledge of His love. Believe that when He looks at you He sees His child: when Jesus looks at you He sees a brother (or sister) for whom He died; and when the Holy Spirit looks at you He sees His home – you are a temple of God’s Holy Spirit. Hear God say to you: “I created you, I hold you in being. I love you. You are precious in My sight.”
We have heard a thousand times that God loves us. But do we KNOW that God loves US – ME – this gummed-up person that blows it all the time! We can come to Him with all our weaknesses, hopes, fears, dreams, worries, mistakes, gummed-up-edness at any time, because of Jesus, who came to this earth to show us how much God desires our company, our attention, our very being – our love expressed back to Him. There is not a thing in our lives that God has not already forgiven when we repent. Everything since the beginning of mankind was taken up in the redeeming act of Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross. Whoever we are, we can claim that redemption by accepting Jesus as our Saviour.
“Longer than there’ve been fishes in the ocean
Higher than any bird ever flew
Longer than there’ve been stars up in the heavens
I’ve been in love with you.
Stronger than any mountain cathedral
Truer than any tree ever grew
Deeper than any forest primeval
I am in love with you.”
By Dan Fogelberg