When I was a little girl I would sit in the woods, watching the world around me. Squirrels would chase each other, leaping through the tree tops and among the muscadine vines, fighting over the tangy, purple berries. I never understood that because there were muscadines everywhere – hanging from the vines and covering the forest floor. There were plenty of berries to go around.
God’s love is like that. Plentiful, lavish, extravagant.
When I was 14 I began reading the Bible. I easily felt the gap between my thoughts and actions and the life described in its pages. My heart leaned in toward God when I learned that Jesus bridged that gap by dying on the cross and coming back to life. I could have that kind of life because of what He did for me, a little quiet, country girl who easily faded into the background in large groups.
His love for me is what drew me to Him in the first place. I didn’t fall through the cracks with God. He. Loved. Me. And that truth was glorious!
Over time, I relaxed my hold on that truth and I began believing lies.
One of the lies I believed was that God was standing over me, arms crossed, a disappointed look on His face. I believed He was waiting for, even expecting, me to mess up. I forgot about His lavish love, and I began trying to earn His love. I led youth groups, I went on mission trips, I was active in our church, but I was in a precarious place. I was doing good things to earn His love instead of doing good things in response to His love.
Then I hit the point of honesty: Maybe, after all these years, I don’t really know the God I am serving. Maybe I only know what I ‘ve been told about Him. So I searched the Bible to see what His Word tells about Him. And this verse lodged into my heart:
Every day the Lord pours His unfailing love upon me, and at night His song is with me. Psalm 42:8
Notice the verse doesn’t say every day that I have a quiet time and behave right, it just says every day. His love isn’t contingent on me at all. I pictured God following me around all day with a watering can pouring out his unfailing love over me. He is not stingy with His love, he is lavish and sloppy and I can play in the puddles around my feet.
I found other verses about His love and I filled a canvas with them. The words flow out of a watering can over the canvas and even spill a bit off the edges.
I put these words where my whole family can see them, because there are those moments when we forget that we are loved by God. That the Creator of the Universe looks at us tenderly and calls us precious. We forget that the Mighty God sings joyful songs over us, as we sing lullabies over our own little ones. I know I need to be reminded on a daily basis.
I hung it at a height where my children can stand under it, as if God’s love was pouring over them. And if I bend my knees to their level, I fit under there as well. Sometimes, especially on days of struggle, we just need to be drenched in His love.
We all need a reminder that God’s love does not stop. His love is not altered on days when we behave badly, when we feel unloveable or unloved. He pours it upon His children constantly. The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. That truth can change the way we view all of life, if we will let it wash over us and sink into our bones.
God’s love is unfailing, unstoppable, and always available.