Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…
“But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” Romans 5:8 (TLB)
It happens in the most unlikely of places and ways. God shows up.
God shows up and demonstrates to us that He is always at work for you and for me, and finds ways every moment of every day to lift and encourage us. All it usually requires on our part is to look for Him.
A few days ago was no exception.
I was checking out of “Bed Bath and Beyond,” with all due diligence completing a list of errands Lynda had asked me to do for us. As I put the item I was buying onto the checkout counter, I could see that the young lady who was helping me checkout, had a tattoo on the underside of her left arm, which mentioned Romans, but I couldn’t make out the verse referred to from the book of Romans.
So I asked her what verse it was. Romans 5:8 she said, showing it to me, then noticing that I was trying to remember the verse, she waited patiently for me to try to call up the verse. But after a bit, I couldn’t remember it, and asked her.
Without hesitation, she said the verse was—“I loved you at your darkest!”
She smiled as she finished, almost it seemed sensing at that very moment the truth of that verse—and realizing that no matter where she was, or what she had done, no matter how short she may come up on what she knew she should do—God still loved, always loved her, and He showed He loved her when Christ died on the cross for her.
God sent Jesus to die for us—not because we were good enough, but because He loved us. Whenever we have moments where we feel uncertain about God’s love for us—we need to remember that He loved us even before we realized He was there, and turned to Him. He loved us when we were separated from Him. He loved us as we lived a life of sin away from Him. He loved us in our darkest times and moments.
And today, His love hasn’t gone anywhere, He loves us as David wrote in the 23rd Psalm, in the valleys of our deep darkness. In those moments where we stray from His way, and are less than He wants us to be. In all of the moments of our lives, where we were in darkness, feeling that there was no way out, feeling as low as we ever had, where we didn’t know how, or where, to take the first step up and into the light—He loved us, and He showed us the way.
No matter how lonely or alienated at times we feel, we have the absolute proven truth in our pocket that Christ died for us. The tomb is empty—He lives and is there for us. And every time we celebrate the sacrament of Holy Communion, we hear again and embrace the words of Jesus—
“This is my body broken for you; this is my blood shed for you.”
We cannot earn His love. And we did not earn His love. We can’t light enough candles, do enough good deeds, say enough prayers to earn His love—it was always there.
While we were yet sinners, when we didn’t even know Him—He died for us, because He loved us.
And as we press on to be all He created us to be, we can always remember and believe His words to us all along the way—“I loved you at your darkest.”
And He always has, and He always will.
In His Name—Scott