We love because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19
God took the initiative.
My first attraction to God was His love for me. This knowledge removed some of my insecurity and helped me lower my guard. I learned that, regardless of my mistakes and failures, He still wanted me. That sent the thrill of acceptance deep into my aching heart. Even with nothing good inside to make me worthy, somehow, He chose me anyway. These things play into the beginning of a trust relationship that grew into a bond of friendship. Friendship with God is part of His plan for us.
But to know this, I had to hear.
When I think of how that first love changed me, I am nothing short of amazed. It healed my soul and breathed life to my whole being. It gave me hope to live this life with trust and expectant patience. It gave a purpose to use the hurt in my life as a testimony to His greatness. Even the pain that I was ashamed to admit. It gave a sense of belonging that was real and true. When God invited me in to be His daughter, I became whole deep into my soul. That belonging melted the fear of rejection bit by bit as He proved His love over and over.
“…that He gave His only son…” – to a horrible torturous death – to pay the price for all my sins. All of them. He allowed His Son to accept all the charges that were held against me, to pay the penalty of death that only I truly deserved.
“…that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. …” So that I would live and thrive and have purpose and be a testimony and be a light. And when this life was over, there would be another life eternal with Him.
This love is hard work. I can look back and see how hard God worked in His pursuit of my heart. The countless times I turned from Him until I was at the end of myself and had no other place to run. And He was there. And He loved. And He still holds all the tears from every moment that I cried in His arms. He was patient and kind and never gave up.
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