God is a relational God, that is what makes Him so unique and so eternally different from man-made gods. He is a Living Being capable of relationship, actually initiating it. From the beginning His heart was to fellowship with those He created, never wanting them as subjects or slaves to His supreme power, but as beings that He could walk with daily in the garden He created.
He created us in His image and our need for relational interaction was birthed from Him. We can fill our lives with the relationships around us, never looking up to the One who created it in the first place, always desiring to be filled or completed by others, but that is a space that only the Creator can really fill.
That human empty-heartedness, the need to be loved, accepted and encouraged can only be filled with the One who created us to have that need in the first place. I always say to my kids that we need the Spirit of Adoption for a reason - this world cannot possibly give us the adoption we need, we cannot even give those we love what they need, only God can.
As most christian parents I have strived through the years to be the best parent I can possibly be. I have never taken the responsibility of parenting our 4 children lightly. It has always been my desire to do it wisely and never to bring any harm to them, but the reality became clear quickly, even my best best best efforts fell short. Even if I have a good day with no anger, shouting, impatience or any significant ungodly fruit, I could not fill that God-sized hole in the hearts. I just can’t be enough. That is probably one of the reasons why I was so intentional to introduce them to God from a very young age. In a sense my driving force was the fact that I saw my own shortcomings - I cannot have it together all the time, I don’t always have godly fruit and I just cannot protect them everywhere no matter how hard I try. These four living creatures where each born with a piece of my heart that left my womb with them and I realized I just cannot be God. Funny as it may seem, some of us try so hard we forget God’s got this and God’s ‘got’ me and them- safely in His hands.
I think the scripture that has had the biggest impact in my life in the last few years has been
And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
I have come to realize that God wants my ‘knowing’ of Him. Not knowing Him on the grounds of what others say of Him, but knowing Him on the grounds of He says of Him. Quite a few years ago I was surrounded with an interesting group of people, wonderful God-loving people. Whenever they spoke about God it seemed so much more intimate than what I had experienced before. By that time we had done missionary work in Rwanda, managing an orphanage for the children left behind after the genocide. We had run homegroups, gone on outreaches, and eventually was sent by our church to plant a church. But still, even after having a seemingly great resume of christian works, I did not have what these people had. So, I did what I know to do - I asked. I asked God to please show me this love that all the other people were experiencing and I was not. I told the Lord that I actually don’t feel like a beloved daughter and would He please show me how He loves me. With that one request a whole new world of relationship with the Father was unlocked. I did what I could do, I read every scripture in the word that had any reference to God’s love for His people. If I ready any scriptures that was hard to place in the context of love, I asked again - Lord, please show me Your love in this. He did. It has now been nearly 10 years since I asked and the one thing that has become a sure knowledge in my heart is that God really loves me. He loves me, He encourages me, He upholds me, He cheers me on and when need be, he chastises me. It has probably been the most profound journey of my 30 years of serving Jesus. That is why I Iove that scripture so much - I have started a journey to know God and what I am learning about Him is over-the-top amazing! Not man or woman can come close to my relationship with God, even my most amazing husband cannot fill the God-sized-love-gap in my heart. Only God can do that and I had to ask for Him to start the filling process.
Another thought plagued my mind for years - how were the disciples and others so willing to suffer and die for the gospel. I know I can rough it for a time and I don’t need the luxuries of life(although like most I enjoy them 😀), but just the thought of being flogged and thrown in jail, or being burnt alive for the gospel, scared me so much. I prayed about it many times and asked God how did they do it, how could they stand in the midst of such severe persecution. I also wanted an answer for my children because from when they were young I had such a strong sense that I needed to raise them to be willing to die for the gospel. Over the years I have grown into a knowledge that religion can never ever make me strong enough in persecution, only relationship can. It is when I know someone very well that I would be willing to suffer and die for them. If that ‘Someone’ is a loving God who sacrificed His own Son for me then to be willing to die for Him would be a no-brainer. Please don’t hear that I am blase about it, I am sure that if I was taken to a stake to be burnt alive I would be trembling, but at least I know the One whose name I am being killed for and after death there is only a reuniting.
1 John 4:8
He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
God is love, so if we want to move away from an airy-fairy love into real love - a self-sacrificial, willing-to-die-love, then all we need to do is ask. It might be the road less travelled by, but it is definitely the road to fulfillment of our hearts.
Maybe you knew the love of God at some stage but it is like it is lost, as if it has waned down to a small stream where it was a raging river before. Maybe you have never felt the love of God before and this whole concept of being in relationship with the Maker of the Universe is a foreign concept. The answer to the quest remains the same - ask. Ask Him, He is the source and He is the answer.