Glimpsing God's Love

October 22nd, 2011

There are different ways to visualize how deep and far God’s love for us goes. Sometimes I get a glimpse of God’s love through a struggle in my life.

Since high school I’ve imagined the day that I would be a daddy. I love kids and I want to experience coming home from work having  little hands raise up towards me yelling, “Daddy!” By the age of 17, I had already chosen names for my future kids.

So when I got married, I was all ready for the expansion of our new family. But my wife had not finished seminary yet. We would have to spend 6 months apart, her in DC, me in Hawaii. She wisely told me that we should wait. She didn't want to go through ¾ of a pregnancy on her own, far away from me.

It’s been 5 years since we've been married and over 2 years since we started trying for a baby. And nothing. This deep desire for wanting children only grows bigger. Though I feel, at times, distressed and discouraged, I keep it to myself because I don't want to put any additional pressure (on top of dealing with me) on my wife. And even though my parents never pressure us, we so desperately want them to be grandparents.

That’s why every time I get news about our friends getting pregnant, it hurts just a little bit. Don’t get me wrong. I’m always so excited and happy for them, but also deeply envious. In my heart, I'm praying to God, “When is it going to be our turn?” I then find myself relating to Hannah or Rachel from the Hebrew Bible, and though they are women, I feel a deep connection with them.

But through this struggle, pain, and frustration, I begin to sort of see a glimpse of God’s love for me.

This child that we earnestly pray for; this child that hasn’t even been born yet, or may never be born— I already love her or him. Deeply. I know that he or she is going to have a father and mother who will love him/her deeply, as best as we can, and will be raised in the presence of God’s love and grace. Whether the child likes it or not, he or she will be loved and has no choice but to be loved by us. There’s not a single thing our child will be able to do about it.

This is a picture of God’s love for me from the beginning of my life to the day that I die. Before we were born, God knew us and loved us deeply.

We were wonderfully and fearfully made by God. Whether we choose to embrace it or not, God loves us. Whether we feel we deserve it or not, God loves us. There’s nothing that can separate us from the love of God, as Paul writes: “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor heights, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

So may we be reminded of how far, how deep and how wide our God’s love for us is. Whether we're struggling or whether we're joyous, let's take time to bask in the presence of God’s love and grace, letting it flow through us and transform us.

Always remember that you are loved. And there’s nothing you can do to change God’s mind.

Joseph Yoo is pastor of youth and spiritual formation at Valencia United Methodist Church in Valencia, CA. He blogs at Step by Step.
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