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  • Writer's pictureMarnie Hammar

His Answer to Why He Loves You

By Christie Thomas



Hear Him Louder Essay Series: Christies Story


My son lay under a mound of blankets as I stretched out beside him. Every night I climbed up to his top bunk and spent time praying over him before he went to sleep, but tonight I had something extra in mind. 


“Son,” I asked, “why does God love you?” He gazed at me through long lashes, finally giving a shrug. 


“Does He love you because you’re good at math?” I asked. He shook his head. 


“No,” I said, “you are good at math, but that’s not why God loves you. Does God love you because you’re kind to your brothers?” Again, no.


“You are kind to your brothers, but that’s not why God loves you. Does God love you because you’re good?”


He nodded, and my heart stuttered. Did this sweet child of mine truly believe that God loved him because of his behavior? 


He wouldn’t be the first person to assign value to himself based on behavior. At my women’s Bible study we had recently discussed lies that keep women in bondage. The women listed things like: 


I’m unworthy.

I’m unlovable.

I’m inadequate.


I’m not good enough.


I’m invisible.


I’m not enough.


As I pondered their thoughts over my random lunch of sprouts and scrambled eggs, I realized that these in themselves are not the lies. These lies reflect a deep need for us to find inherent value in ourselves. When we feel like we’ve failed, like we’re not good enough or kind enough or visible enough, we thrust daggers of blame into our own hearts. But the truth is, we can’t find our value inside ourselves or in our behavior. God will never love us because of our goodness, and we’ll never be worthy enough for Him. 


am unworthy.


am unlovable.


am inadequate.


I am not good enough.


am invisible.


I am not enough.


The lie is that because of those things, God doesn’t love me, or that when we do manage to feel lovable and do the right things, God loves me more. 


Lies.


“Christ arrives right on time to make this happen. He didn’t, and doesn’t, wait for us to get ready. He presented himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready. And even if we hadn’t been so weak, we wouldn’t have known what to do anyway. We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him,” (Romans 5:6-8 MSG, emphasis added).


The NIV translates our position to God as enemies. My friend, you and I were enemies of God. We were more than worthless to Him. And yet, “while we were God’s enemies we were reconciled to him through the death of His Son,” (Romans 5:10 NIV).


A few years ago, I was at a prayer retreat at a convent and was spending some time worshipping God on my own. I was seated in an old cushy chair in the middle of a small storage room. I began to sing that old(ish) tune, “This is the air I breathe.


When I got to the chorus and began to sing “I’m desperate for you,” a man’s voice joined in. No one else was visibly in the room. Trust me, I checked. I was annoyed that someone else was butting in on my private time with God and even singing along. Imagine my shock that no one else was there – only the manifest presence of Jesus, singing audibly. With me. 


I sang “I’m desperate for you” and He sang it back. 

I sang “I’m lost without you” and He sang it back. 


I was broken.


I am the one that is supposed to long after God, but the truth is, He longed after me before I was even born. He is desperate for me. For you. So desperate for a relationship with you and I that He chose to sacrifice Himself rather than live without us.


Like the shepherd looking for his sheep, like the merchant who sells it all for the pearl of great price, like the widow who turns her house upside down to find a single coin, like the father who humiliates himself to rush into the arms of his forsaking son, God loves me with wild abandon.


The hidden pearl and the coin may have had monetary value, but they didn’t do anything to earn their worth. They had worth because the merchant and the widow assigned them worth. The prodigal son and the stray sheep didn’t deserve love, but they were given it anyway. They had worth because of the father’s or shepherd’s love. 


The lie is that God doesn’t love me BECAUSE I am unworthy, unlovable, inadequate, invisible.


The truth is that BECAUSE God loves me I am worthy, lovable, adequate, and visible.


In Him, I am enough.


It’s all because He loves me.


Oh, and here’s how I finished up with my son that night: “You are often good, but that’s not why God loves you. God loves you because you’re His child. And since you can never stop being His child, He can never stop loving you.”


Never.


Photo credit: Unsplash, Tim Cooper.

 

The Hear Him Louder Essay Series is a guest essay series where God's daughters share their stories of hearing God’s whispers in their every day. It’s meant to serve as an encouragement for the times when God feels far and seems quiet. May this series be an invitation for us to listen for His voice together.


Don't miss any posts in this series! Subscribe to receive each new essay in your inbox, posted every other Thursday. When you subscribe, you'll receive a FREE download of a Prayer Planning Worksheet, a resource to help you prepare your heart to listen for His voice in prayer.


New to this series? Check out the rest of the series!


 

About Christie


Christie Thomas is a deeply loved daughter of God. She’s also a mom and writer who has been involved in children’s ministry for most of her life, including working as director of children’s ministry for more than a decade. Her devotionals and children’s books help parents cultivate faith-filled moments. She lives with her husband and three boys in Canada.


Find books and resources for your whole family at Little Shoots, Deep Roots. You can connect with Christie on Instagram or Facebook.

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