The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness. Jeremiah 31:3

Nothing is harder than to love someone who is either unable to, or refuses to return your love. Extending love is personal. It’s intimate. It makes you vulnerable. You put yourself on the line and if you are accepted and that love is returned you feel fulfilled, happy, complete.

But when love is not returned, it’s like doing open heart surgery with a dull knife and no anesthesia. You lay your heart before the one you want to love you and if that person rejects your love he/she is rejecting you. You become like a warrior who loses his sword and shield just as the enemy attacks. There is no warning. There is no defense. There is no hope.

It’s that one aspect that makes God’s love for us so amazing. When we are rejected in our attempts at love our human nature is to withdraw ourselves. Depending on the situation, our withdrawal could be permanent. We evaluate the situation and decide that this love really wasn’t love at all and move on to find a new love.

On the other hand, if we are so dependent on that person that we MUST love them we may do anything to keep that love. Even if staying in that relationship means abuse, unhappiness or danger (even to the point of death). Our very being, our essence depends on our having this relationship. We stay in the ‘relationship’ but lose who we are in the process.

God’s love, on the other hand, says this: “I love you. I will always love you. No matter how many times you pull away from me. No matter how often you scream at me in anger and abuse my name and ignore my advances, I love you.”

He draws me to Himself. During those times of my anger He sits quietly, patiently. Knowing me so well that He knows exactly the time to come to me, when I can no longer do life alone.

One reason our Father is able to love this way is because our rejection of Him has no bearing on who He is; on His power to heal; or on His willingness and passionate desire to draw near to us. He is God. He is our Loving Heavenly Father and He pleads with you to come and rest in His arms and call Him ‘Daddy’. Passionate desire! How awesome is that! He’s not a shy lover waiting in the shadows for you to notice Him. He’s a passionate lover who pursues you, who makes every opportunity to show you His love.

With such a God as this what shall keep me from living life to the fullest? I am loved! Unconditionally, completely, eternally loved in spite of my stubborn will and my constant struggle to follow His ways.

With such love as this within me, how can I learn to love others in the same way that I am loved? How will the love of Jesus shine forth in new and passionate ways to those who have been shattered by forsaken love?

PRAYER: My Lord and my God. I am once again taken back in awe by Your great love for me. I ask once more that you would forgive me for ignoring your love. I’m stubborn and selfish and seek only my own pleasure when I should seek to give you glory. Help me to let your love shine through me so that I can be secure in whom I am and show Christ’s love in passionate ways to those in my world. Amen.