We are created for love. We crave love. But often it seems that love is illusive. Especially God’s love. We can’t quite reach it. Too many things interfere.
The first thing that interferes is God’s invisibility. How can we feel loved from a Being we cannot see with our eyes? We enjoy seeing the people we love. That’s why a month ago people dropped everything and ran to be with family to celebrate the holidays. It’s why we want to see our spouse and kids every day, and miss them when they are gone. Even in a friendship, face-to-face gatherings are preferred over a phone conversation or letter. But we can’t see God with our eyes.
A second block to God’s love is that He is inaudible to our ears. Even when we see someone we love, we long to hear them speak to us, to tell us about their day or simply communicate with us. The audible words “I love you,” go a long way, too. Seeing and hearing at the same time is best, but in the absence of seeing, hearing will do. When someone we love is far away, a phone call can connect us nicely. But we can’t hear God with our ears.
Something else that makes it hard is that too many of us know someone who claims to know God, and yet who cheats us or treats us badly. Many people have been “burned” in this way. Mahatma Gandhi said: “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”
Unfortunately, many times that is true. Many people have been turned from even believing in God because of unloving Christians. So – we can’t use our senses to see or hear God, and we can’t rely on people who know Him to show us His love.
Yet another reason it’s hard to grasp God’s love is that so many bad things happen. We are told that God is good, but all around us we see the bad – murders, rape, fires, theft, financial ruin, death, illness, and the list goes on. We wonder if God even cares.
This issue needs a whole book to answer (!), but I’ll give a simplified one here, and hope you keep reading in coming blogs.
While it’s true we cannot see God with our eyes or hear Him with our ears, we can see and hear Him with our heart. His messages take a little practice to recognize because we have been trained to focus only in the physical realm. God often reveals His love through the physical realm, but we are not tuned to see and hear it. That’s an easy issue to fix through our continuing spiritual growth!
As for people, not even God will force Christians to be Christ-like. But our focus in not on other people anyway. Our focus is to be on God. Once we have that straight, the behavior of Christians may hurt us, but need not block God’s love for us.
And as for the issue of bad things – that is a problem. But there is an answer – a wonderful one. One that will take more than a blog to answer : )
Have you ever had any of these issues and resolved them – or still have them? Please share your thoughts below!