For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39
Last week my daughter and her new baby stayed over at our house. I got to relearn firsthand how babies deal with adversity. They cry. It doesn’t matter what kind of adversity they face, or its source, their response is the same. Always with the crying.
But the correlation between the adversity and the crying is quite imperfect. Sometimes the baby cried because she was hungry. Fair enough. But then continued to cry for a while as she was being fed. Sometimes she cried because she wanted to be held. Again, I get that. But she would continue to cry for a period even after she was picked up.
It struck me as I watched her that many of us also continue in our distress long after our needs have been met. I have had colleagues who, once having been denied a position they wanted, were forever angry and defensive about it, even though they had long gone on to bigger and better opportunities. I have personally struggled with resenting former bosses who refused to address my obvious needs. Some of them later became clients of mine but I still bore a grudge.
The picture makes even less sense when I complain about how the Lord has dealt with me. I have cried out to God on many occasions. Sometimes His rescue was already on the way. Sometimes it had had already arrived. Then for years after I would continue living as if God did not know where I was or what I needed. Rude? Maybe. Foolish? Absolutely.
I have found in my life that many of the mistakes I have made, sins I have committed, and people I have injured can mark their genesis in my refusing to accept the love of God that was already available to me. Because I kept crying, I lived defensively and angrily towards God and others.
Is there anything less needful than the harm we all cause because we are unclear on whether God loves us? Let’s not be infants anymore. Let’s walk in the freedom of knowing the certainty of the love of God.