Life rarely turns out like we expect – or in my opinion, it never turns out as we expect. There are so many unexpected plot twists. We make some good decisions and we make some really poor ones. Sometimes it seems as if everything is going in the right direction only to find we are on a dead end street and we need to turn around and try again. We celebrate too little and beat ourselves up too often. And yet, through it all, we find that God is with us (despite ourselves).
29 years ago today, Wendy and I went on our first date. It wasn’t fancy. For most, it was unremarkable. But for us, it was the beginning. It hasn’t always been easy. Actually, there have been some really super difficult times. Today, though, we have grown together and found out our love for each other is stronger than even we imagined. Most people who knew us then would have never guessed it. Neither did we at the time. But here we are – and I couldn’t be more grateful.
One of the most important lessons we have learned together is just how powerful God’s love is. As Christians, this idea is thrown around a lot. It is spread as a concept like confetti. But we don’t always practice it. We don’t always live like it. And we don’t always see it in us. God’s love is more powerful than our highs and lows. His love endures through our most difficult times and holds us so very tight. His love reminds us we are never alone in our darkest moments. His love never ends. It is too much for my mind to comprehend. But when I am anxious and overwhelmed, I do my best to remember it.
What does this really mean? No matter where you may find yourself today, you are never too far from God’s love. You are not unlovable. You are not beyond reach from God. You are beautifully and wonderfully made – and you didn’t do anything to earn this. You are created as God’s beloved. You are special to God. As much as I love Wendy, she is even more important to God. That’s hard to take in. And so are you…loved beyond belief.
Love doesn’t mean things go the way we want or expect or deserve. Love means through it all, we are never without. We are never in a drought of God’s love. And God shows his love to us every single day. I’m beyond grateful I went on a date with a beautiful young lady 29 years ago. And I’m even more grateful she became my best friend and my wife.
Here’s a reminder about God’s love for me and for you from Romans 8:
38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Now THAT’S love.