Learning about Love

I had a realization this weekend, which seemed blindingly obvious once I got there, but it took a while.  While I believe that God loves me, I don't really trust Him to keep loving me.  I hope that He will.  I know, intellectually, that He will.  But on a practical, gut-level, I don't fully trust it.  I want a backup plan. 

That doubt spills over into a lot of other areas of my life -- if I don't trust God to love me unconditionally and always, how would I trust other people to love me when I don't feel like I'm earning it?

Dave, by the grace of God, ended up preaching a sermon on Sunday that spoke to the exact things that I was thinking about, and reminded us that the gift of the Holy Spirit is an ongoing evidence of God's faithful love to us. 

I am also reminded of God's faithful love, that He knows me and loves me, by small signs in my every day life. 
...for example, finding a bubble tea shop the very day after I told Jason how much I wanted some...

So with all of those thoughts drifting around in my mind, I read Mark 6:30-52 today, and noticed something that I've never paid attention to before.

He said to them, "Come away by yourselves to a remote place and rest for a while." For many people were coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.

But then as they go to "get away," more people show up and Jesus ends up teaching.  Again.  I would be frustrated and confused -- didn't He just say we needed rest?  Wasn't He worried about us not eating?

And then I'd feel guilty for not wanting to "do ministry" -- isn't that what we're supposed to be doing?  

I'd be frustrated all over again when Jesus responded to my hint that maybe it was time to send them off by telling us to give them something to eat.  I don't even have time to eat myself, remember?  

And then.

And then He makes enough food to feed thousands of people.

The rest He provides often doesn't look like what I expect it to be.  His love often doesn't look like what I think it should, and I panic and try to merit it.

But then God does something absurdly generous, so out of my imagining that I am shaken out of my doubt and left in wonder.

This year, I'm praying for eyes to see the evidence of His steadfast love and a heart that grows in trusting Him.

I believe, Lord, help my unbelief!


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