By Merrily Brast, former Staff Writer
“You are worse than you think you are, but also far more loved than you feel you are.”
God’s love has been far more difficult to write about than I anticipated. I can’t pretend to truly comprehend the magnitude of God’s love. Someone once told me that our best thought about God on our best day falls infinitely short of how great God is. I felt that as I wrote my below thoughts.
God’s love says come as you are.
God’s love is independent of what I do—good or bad, it is unconditional. God cares about me, not because of how I behave, but because of who I am.
His grace frees me from my sin, and His love beckons me, “Come as you are.”
The song “Come As You Are” by David Crowder affirms this description of God’s love. The lyrics are beautiful.
“Come out of sadness, from wherever you’ve been. Come broken-hearted, let rescue begin. Come find your mercy. Sinner, come kneel. Earth has no sorrow that heaven can’t heal.
“Lay down your burdens, lay down your shame. All who are broken, lift up your face. Wanderer come home, you’re not too far. Lay down your hurt, lay down your heart—come as you are.”
God’s love sees who I can be.
I truly believe God loves me as I am. But, He does not want me to remain the same. He knows I can be more. He sees my heavenly self and the full extent of my potential, and longs for my potential to become reality.
Philippians 1:6 says, “…He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
In my short time working at UGM, I have come to greatly appreciate that the Mission sees people’s potential as God-dependent, contributing members of society.
They desire people to become the person God created them to be, and they are committed to providing the resources—whether through counseling, education, Bible studies or work—to help men and women reach this point in their lives. Their ministry exemplifies God’s love.
God’s love sets me free.
I am free to be who I am and more.
His love frees me from meeting others’ expectations and being a people-pleaser. When my identity is at rest in His non-comparing, unconditional love, insecurity has no place.
I am free from fear—scripture says that perfect love casts out fear. And I am free from sin, no longer in bondage to my flesh and my disobedience.
The past three summers, I worked at a wholesale plant nursery, where I learned about more than flowers. I learned about God. I came to cherish the people from the nursery and my time there.
In December of 2013, the owner of the nursery passed away, and one day, in honor of his memory, each person on our crew was given an envelope with the words that said, “Fly free.”
Inside was a sleeping butterfly waiting for open air, and as we opened our envelopes, dozens of butterflies flew away.
I often think of that day, and ask myself, Am I embracing God’s love and all His benefits? Am I ‘flying free?’ Are you flying free?
These are a few thoughts about God’s love, but far more could be said. How would you describe God’s love?
Share the love of God with someone! Download the greeting card and encourage a friend.