An Unearthly Love
Your goodness can’t win God’s love. Nor can your badness lose it. But you can resist it. We tend to do so honestly. Having been rejected so often, we fear God may reject us as well. Rejections have left us skittish and jumpy. Like my dog Salty. He sleeps next to me on the couch as I write. He’s a cranky cuss, but I like him. We’ve aged together over the last fifteen years, and he seems worse for the wear. He’s a wiry canine by nature; shave his salt-and-pepper mop, and he’d pass for a bulimic Chihuahua. He didn’t have much to start with; now the seasons have taken his energy, teeth, hearing, and all but eighteen inches worth of eyesight.
Toss him a dog treat, and he just stares at the floor through cloudy cataracts. (Or, in his case, dogaracts?) He’s nervous and edgy, quick to growl and slow to trust. As I reach out to pet him, he yanks back. Still, I pet the old coot. I know he can’t see, and I can only wonder how dark his world has become.
We are a lot like Salty. I have a feeling that most people who defy and deny God do so more out of fear than conviction. For all our chest pumping and braggadocio, we are anxious folk – can’t see a step into the future, can’t hear the one who owns us. No wonder we try to gum the hand that feeds us.
But God reaches and touches. He speaks through the immensity of the Russian plain and the density of the Amazon rain forest. Through a physician’s touch in Africa, a bowl of rice in India. Through a Japanese bow or a South American abraço. He’s even been known to touch people through paragraphs like the ones you are reading. If he is touching you, let him.
Mark it down: God loves you with an unearthly love. You can’t win it by being winsome. You can’t lose it by being a loser. But you can be blind enough to resist it.
Don’t. For heaven’s sake, don’t. For your sake, don’t.
“Take in with all Christians the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God” (Eph. 3:18–19 MSG).
From 3:16, The Numbers of Hope
Copyright (W Publishing Group, 2007) Max Lucado