Years ago, back when we had to watch television without fast-forwarding through the commercials, there was an ad where people would tell about various hardships they were going through (job loss, health issues etc) and they’d always end with a big grin and “But I’m loved!”
I don’t remember if it was sponsored by a Christian group or by another religious organization, but my reaction was a sarcastic “yeah, right—that makes everything okay, then”.
These were painful struggles, but the glowing smiles implied happiness and laughter, puppies and flowers, all’s right in the world.
Sometimes life hurts. A lot. Denying the pain makes it worse, and that’s what I sensed in the ads: denial.
Yet, we are loved. And that assurance means more to me each year, each speedbump that rocks my life or those of my friends. The heavier the burden, the more we need to rely on God’s loving, strengthening grace.
Nothing can separate us from His love. If everything crumbles around us, if the very worst happens, He’ll still be there to sustain us. And somehow He’ll make something beautiful, even if it can only be seen from the far side of eternity.
When fear or discouragement jab me these days, I’ve surprised myself by retorting “But I’m loved”.
It doesn’t numb me or give me a sappy grin, but it resonates in my spirit. It stirs my confidence in the God I’m learning to trust, the God who promised never to leave nor forsake me.
Maybe it’s because I’m learning that His staying has nothing to do with me and everything to do with His character. I can’t earn His love. It was never about that.
He loves me because He formed me. He gave His own Son to save me. He sent His Spirit to live in me. And He never goes back on His word.
Because of who He is, I can say, whatever my circumstances, through smiles or through tears, “I am loved.”
And I will trust Him.