How can he always love us, even when we try to hide, when we do things that are wrong? How can he still love us all the same?
Hands were laid upon me; I didn't fall.
Apprehension. As I approached the front, His presence was suddenly so much more evident, like I had crossed an invisible boundary into a place where He was just...permeating the air. Like a bang to the soul. Wobbly legs, trembling hands, without realising. But I remember, as I stood in that line, the two words: I'm scared.
Those two words changed everything. I prayed for the apprehension to leave. His presence is something you hunger for - sometimes peace, or a crazy outburst of joy in the heart, or....like the soul has been doused with cold water and is suddenly awake.
I tried to put all my trust in God and Pastor MJ, but couldn't let go of myself. Not this time.
But I just started thinking about it. I remember the 2am nights I spent, all that effort, trying to get the gift that some people just get instantly without praying for it, without even knowing what it is. I think it's because God knows that with all the time and effort I put into getting it, I would treasure it more and remember how much I wanted it, to know He was always there.
But maybe, just maybe... He loves me a little less? Maybe I'm not as deserving? Maybe I'm just a bit more neglected; as I stand shouting in prayer, so is everyone else - maybe I'm unheard? With all my unworthiness and repeated mistakes, maybe He doesn't love me as much.
It's so easy to slip into that, especially because every one of us is unworthy. I was talking to Tim about it today, about doubting God's love for us. And about why God created us in the first place - God created us so that we could worship him? I mean, what?
I found this analogy.
It's like getting a bunch of pet hamsters (okay, because I used to own one).
You want hamsters because maybe you'd like to play with them, or maybe you like caring for something that's alive. And you train and feed and love it, but the hamster keeps biting you. Of course you'd just be waiting for the day the hamster will realise you're giving it love, and you're waiting for the day it will love you back, and make you happy and...stop biting.
Actually, I guess using cats would be a better analogy, because cats tend to be pretty free roamers and might not always show the owner their affection initially. You'll still love your pet all the same, even as it gets you into trouble and doesn't want to be held by you. It's practically your child, and you'll be waiting for it to love you back.
And because God created us and has known us since before we were born and has an amazing plan for each of us, He is our Creator. And because we are His creation, His love for us is not determined by what we've done, but by who He is. God cannot deny his identity as our Father, and hence loves us as His children.
It's easy to forget, isn't it? Remember the hamster/cat analogy.