The little girl stands in the backyard chanting as she plucks petals one by one from the daisy and drops them to the ground. He loves me, he loves me not, he loves me. At game's end, the last petal tells all: whether or not the person desired returns the affection.
Of course no one takes it seriously, and if children don't get the answer they desire, they take another daisy and start again. It doesn't take long even for children to realize that flowers weren't designed to tell romantic fortunes. Why should they link their hearts' desires to the fickleness of chance?
Why indeed! But it is a lesson far easier learned in romance than in more spiritual pursuits. For long after we've put away our daisies, many of us continue to play the game with God. This time we don't pluck flower petals but probe through our circumstances trying to figure out exactly how God feels about us.
I got a raise, He loves me.
I didn't get the promotion I wanted; I lost my job. He loves me not!
Something in the Bible inspired me today. He loves me!
My child is seriously ill. He loves me not!
Something I prayed for actually happened. He loves me!
I stretched the truth to get myself out of a tight spot. He loves me not!
On and on the game goes until we lose sight of how the Lord feels about us altogether and we either walk away deciding there is nothing we could ever do to please Him or we work ourselves to death trying to earn His affection.
What about you? Have you ever felt tossed back and forth by circumstances, occasionally certain but mostly uncertain about how the Creator of the Universe feels about you? Or perhaps you've never even known how much God loves you.
Well, I want to assure you today that He really does love you with an everlasting love. During all of your difficult circumstances His presence is there to strengthen you and carry you through if only you will choose to call on His name:
I lost my job, but several friends from church prayed for me and even brought my family groceries. He loves me!
My child is seriously ill, but our pastor and congregation have set up a round the clock prayer vigil for us and have sent cards and letters of encouragement. He loves me!
I stretched the truth to get myself out of a tight spot, but I prayed and repented and the Lord forgave me and gave me another chance. He loves me!
You see it is always He loves me! He loves me! He loves me!
In fact God's Word tells us over and over again about His steadfast love for us. My prayer for each of you today is the same prayer Paul prayed for the Ephesians:
"For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom His whole family in Heaven and on earth derives its names. I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge- that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God." Ephesians 3:14-19
"But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8
Referencing the book He Loves Me! Learning to Live in the Father's Affection by Wayne Jacobsen