Because I Love You –

Life isn’t always easy. In fact, lately it’s been pretty difficult. The Lord has been molding me though many trials and – to be honest – I’m weary. I try to keep in mind the things that I know regarding hardships. I do my best to look for opportunities to learn and I’m thankful for the things that God is teaching me. But after a long while, I begin to feel as though I’m running a race with no end. Let me tell you, that isn’t how I like to work at all. You see, I like to know exactly where to expect the finish line, that way I can tell myself, “not much further now, you’re almost there.” Perhaps I like that so much because thinking of the ending distracts my mind from the current pain. Or perhaps it’s because I cannot fathom the idea of quitting with such a small stretch left. Whatever the reasons, these trials don’t seem to play out the way I’d like them to. And so, with the end nowhere in sight, focusing on the momentary pain is all too easy. Before I know it, I’m stuck in the habit of true self-pity. It is then that I begin to cry, “Why me, Lord?”

But He softly answers, “Because I love you.”

“Well you sure have a funny way of showing it…” I think to myself. And I’m ashamed to say that I even begin to doubt that love.

“But it’s hard.” I cry. “Don’t You see my tears, Father?”

“Hear my prayer, O LORD, And give ear to my cry; Do not be silent at my tears…” -Psalms 39:12

But I know He sees my tears. He sees all things. I also know that He is with me, even in the sorrow.

“Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” -Isaiah 41:10

Yet still I persist and question, “Why do You allow this, Lord?”

And He patiently answers, “Because I love you.”

Oh, How He Loves Me! –
It is then that I begin to study just how much He loves me. I finally focus my eyes on Him – rather than myself – and I’m forced to admit that He really does love me; oh, how He loves me! And for what? What am I that He should even care? How is it that this amazing Deity even knows my name? And yet He knows so much more than my name. He sees my smiles and my tears, my joy and my pain, my love and my anger, my triumphs and my failures. He knows the way I think (kudos to Him for even understanding that!), the way I walk, the way I talk; He even knows how many hairs make up this mane that I claim as mine.

But it isn’t simply His knowing me that proves this amazing love. It’s His sacrifice; the fact that while I was His enemy, He paid the ultimate price to set me free; the fact that He took my place and suffered my punishment, before I even knew Him. That alone would be enough to prove His amazing love for all eternity and yet He doesn’t stop there.

He has blessed me with so many things that I continually take for granted. I have a home, a family, friends, a Bible, heat, food… the list goes on and my gratitude tapers off far too quickly.

So now all of my “why”‘s are transformed into a skeptical, “Why would You love me, Lord?”

And He answers, “Because You’re mine. I am love. And that’s just the way I am.

A Worthy Distraction –
And so it seems I have taken my eyes off of the sorrow and focused them on quite a worthy distraction. Because, as it turns out, trials are so much easier to bear when your eyes are focused on the love of Christ. No, I won’t say that they’re easy per say. Life is still hard. But when you’re truly convinced of the love that He has for you, it is so much easier to trust Him with the life that you have.

So, my friend, when all else fails, think on His love. Do not let His amazing kindness slip from your memory in the time of your trouble.

Thou my best thought
By day or by night
Waking or sleeping
Thy presence my light

Prone To Doubt –
Sad to say, I cannot escape this post without admitting that my heart is still prone to doubt. I easily allow my eyes to fall away from God’s love and then I begin to question Him once again. How faithless can I be? How patient is He?

And my heart echos the words:

“Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” -Mark 9:24

Questions To Ponder –
In what ways has God shown you His love and care? Have you taken time to count your blessings lately? Have you fallen into the habit of self-pity as your trials seem to have no end? Can you turn your focus away from self and begin, instead, to focus on His love?

Leave your comment below! 🙂
-Rachel Allison

8 comments

  1. Bryan says:

    This truly hits home. Back in April, doctors diagnosed my eldest son, aged nine, with cancer. He’s fighting through all of the treatments now and each days seems to present an unwelcomed and unexpected surprise. I’ve often thought the verse, “Lord, I believe, help my unbelief.” But thanks for reminding me of His love…

    • Oh dear, I’m so sorry to hear that. That has to be so hard. You and your son are in my prayers! I’m so glad that you were encouraged through this post and I pray that the Lord will continue to remind you of His love. God bless and keep you!
      -Rachel Allison

  2. Alison says:

    Just today I said that verse (Mark 9:24) to God in prayer. We so often need a shot of faith to bolster us when we don’t see a way out of whatever we’re facing. Mercifully, He is faithful, even when we’re not.

  3. Joy says:

    RachelAllison, I truly believe your blogging presence in my life is a gift from God. Two and a half years ago, I came to faith in an unbelievingly family. My life has been an almost endless persecution since then, and I still look for the day my parents will believe and this present pain will be turned to healing. Throughout the struggle, I met a friend – a believing guy – who helped me carry many of my burdens. Eventually, we fell in love, and things seemed to be just perfect – except of course the time (I’m going to college come spring) and the circumstances (my parents hate him for being a believer)… Finally, God has been asking me to let him go, and at the moment I am, like you, very tempted to be overwhelmed, giving up, pitying self. I have to eat daily of the manna, drink deep from the living well, and cast my eyes continuously upon truth and the things Christ in His love has given me. Life really is hard. Incidentally, I blogged about the same verse from Isaiah on a-piercing-love.blogspot.com. =) The our before I had been crying out to Him, why and why me, and as I was reminded to count my blessings, I realized what a comfort and encouragement it is to me to know that somewhere on the planet, there is a girl going through similar (and also some different) trials, and she too is keeping a record of His grace to reach out to others, and the Lord has been faithful to teach us both and draw us both close to Him. Thank you – though you didn’t do it on purpose, reading how God is making you through your pains is a blessing! I pray for you daily.

    Love,
    Joy

    *unbelieving, not unbelievingly. Sorry. Spellcheck on auto can be such a nuisance sometimes! =)

    • Awww…. I certainly am glad to be able to encourage you! Your encouragement has been a gift to me as well. I am praying for you as you struggle and I will be praying for salvation on the part of your parents. And as for this young man, I cannot deny that I feel your pain. As you already know part of my story with giving my whole heart up to God, you should know that I can truly sympathize with your battle.
      To quote your own post: “How can obedience hurt so much? Is this the way You answer prayers that cry out for submission and faith? But I’m not submitting, Lord – look, I’m continuously struggling, and don’t You see the way I bend under the load I bear?”
      Praise be to Him for His patience! Because even when I tell Him that I am submitting, inwardly I find that I’m still fighting. And my fumbling steps don’t seem to get me very far, but at least they are beginning to be taken in the right direction and that is what He is asking for.
      So take heart, my friend! You are just as much a blessing to me! And you are in my prayers as well. 🙂
      Love,
      RachelAllison

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