“Jesus loves me” is a song I learned in Sunday School. We sang it so often that its melody still reverberates in my head, while all the other choruses from those days have long since faded from my memory. I have heard its simple message of God’s love my entire life, and yet, I never fail to marvel and wonder at its truth. Why would our Creator care for us so much?
As I watch or read the news, it doesn’t take long to shake my head in disgust at the latest horrors perpetrated by the human race. But frankly, to be revolted at evil, I don’t need to search very far – it’s enough to look at my heart. I am often appalled at the ugly thoughts and impulses that come so quickly and without my permission.
What amazes me is that God sees our hearts and minds completely – every nook and cranny – and he still loves us anyway. All our thoughts and actions lie bare before him, but his love is unaffected. He knows us inside and out, better than we’ll ever understand ourselves, and still says, “I love you.”
It’s hard to comprehend such unconditional love – at least it is for me. But love is who God is. Just like the sun can’t help shining because its very essence radiates light, God’s nature emanates love. It’s no coincidence that love is so important to us; after all, we were created in his image. We may never fully grasp why God loves us, but do we need to? Does a little child try to understand his parents’ love? Doesn’t he simply delight in the affection he feels from his mom and dad?
Unfortunately, instead of accepting God’s love with open arms, we often shrink back. I admit I’ve often struggled to receive it, and I’ve talked to many people who absolutely refuse to believe that the Creator could love them. Why is that so? Deep down, our flaws and weaknesses conspire to make us feel unworthy and unlovable. We easily fall prey to the lie that we can never deserve to be loved. We may even assume that absolute love can’t possibly be real because we don’t understand or experience it.
It took me a long time to realize that when I refused to recognize God’s love for me, I was really calling him a liar. Thinking of ourselves as unlovely isn’t a sign of humility or penance; for all intents and purposes, it’s rejecting our Creator and smearing his character. I still struggle with accepting God’s love. I often listen to the voices that say I’m unfit and undeserving. But when this happens, I repent.
We may never understand why God loves us, but let’s never doubt his heart. No matter who we are or what we’ve done, no one is “out of range” of his affection. God loves us. Period. He longs for us to receive his love and to respond in kind.
Have you accepted his love?