The house was messy. I was messy. And my friend just walked right into all the messiness. I was sitting in the playroom floor, my 3 little ones playing beside me, and I was sobbing. She didn’t knock, so I didn’t have time to wipe my eyes, or to get myself together.
“What’s going on?” she asked as she put her two little ones on the floor to play with mine.
“I’m starting to believe that God really doesn’t love me.”
This feeling had been pressing harder and harder on my heart, and circumstances seemed to prove its truth.
I listened to the lies whispered in the darkness. I forgot God’s promises to never leave me. I stopped believing what God said about Himself and about His love for me. It was time for some truth.
Hesed means steadfast love. It is a special word in Hebrew that describes the loving devotion God has toward His people which causes Him to bind Himself to His people. It indicates His lovingkindness toward those with whom He is in covenant relationship.
Lamentations 22-24: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”
Psalm 36:5 – Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.
Psalm 86:5 – For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you.
I love the language of hesed: steadfast, loving devotion, binding Himself to His people, lovingkindness.
We have a tendency to keep God at arms length (a safe distance), elbows locked tight. We can acknowledge that God loves us, but this hesed, this loving devotion God has toward us, doesn’t use keep-at-a-distance language. It is the language of a God who has pursued us, fought for us, from Genesis to the cross, until eternity begins. This powerful, overwhelming love, should we receive it, could completely change the way we relate to God. Because it shows us how God sees us. Worthy of being pursued, worthy of fighting for, worth the cost, precious, loved.
We say what we think, but we live what we believe.
“If we believe we are loved, then we can let go of idols in our lives, let go of addictions that ruin us, let go of relationships that harm us, let go…and breathe. Let go and live in joy.” Ann Voskamp