I know it in my head. The bible tells me. My church preaches it. I sing about it. I even tell myself.
I’m loved by God –
but I don’t always feel it.
And if I don’t feel it, then what’s the point?
There are plenty of alternatives.
I down a coffee and can take on the world. I buy toys for my daughter and instantly feel better. I press ‘play’ and the real world disappears. I hit ‘send’ and feel smug. They might not last; but there’s always something else to take their place.
So, instead of a quick hit, how do I know God intimately and feel His love enduringly?
In his first letter, John gives many answers to that question. Here’s just one:
No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. (1 John 4:12)
It’s not what I expected to hear.
I want to feel loved — God tells me to love.
I try to get spiritual — God tells me to look out for others.
I want a heavenly experience — God tells me to have an earthly investment.
I look within to find myself — God says I’m given my identity from without.
I want to be special and unique — He says I’m an essential part of a body.
I want to love myself before I can love others — He says love others and the rest follows.
I want the approval of the world — He says I’m His.
If I want to see God in my life, I need to look outwards. Before I feel His love for me, I’m called to love those He puts in my path. Then, as I give of myself, so I am filled.
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us. (1 John 4:16)