Three Words To Freedom

“I have loved you with an everlasting love;
I have drawn you with loving-kindness.” – Jeremiah 31:3 NIV

 three words 2

It started out easy enough. Just walk up to each person in the room, greet them with a hug, and tell them “God loves you!”.

Okay, I can do that. I like people and hugging. And though I don’t regularly tell others “God loves you!”, I soon felt joy in expressing it.

There was no fear of rebuttal, or worry of misunderstanding. Just three simple words wrapped in enthusiasm and gifted in love.

Each person I approached, nodded and smiled as if the certainty of those three words were as sure as the rising sun.

Embraces lingered, and eyes met, and you knew it was a good thing to give and receive.

It felt wonderful being a harbinger of God’s Truth to another soul – to be a messenger of hope.

God. Loves. You.

The kicker was when we had to change up those three perfect words.

They were similar to the first set, but the power they held was different – more.

We had to turn the phrase around, and point it at ourselves.

I was the first person in the group who had to say them. My dear friend turned to me and said, “God loves you.” and I had to say..

“God loves me.”

I couldn’t get it out at first. I choked. Not on the beauty of the words, but on the “hows and whys” of them.

How could God love me? Why would he love me? The wretch that I am!

At that moment, I knew I was at a crossroad.

Do I embrace the Truth that God loves me beyond my understanding of “hows and whys”, or do I descend into guilt and shame – shielding myself from God’s gift of forgiveness and redemption?

I so wanted Truth to reign. I’d spent far too long in the dark depths clinging to my “unloveliness” like a favorite sweater. I don’t ever want to go back to that place.

I looked my sweet friend in the eye, squeezed her hand, and spoke through tears…

“God loves me.”

I felt a stirring of freedom.

And as I watched each person confess God’s love for them, I saw an amazing array of responses.

Some spoke with such confidence and surety, while others, like me, wrestled with the words. And others still avoided the eyes of their partner, nodded their head, and quietly agreed.

As we went around the circle, I wondered how God felt about each person’s response – how he felt about my response.

Then in the quietness, I heard it.

I have loved you with a unfailing love, but if you won’t let go of your shame and truly accept my love and forgiveness, we can only go so far together.

I am careful to never be a stumbling block for another person, but I realized at that moment I had become a stumbling block for myself.

Self-imposed barriers have kept me from fully accepting God’s love. Whether in ignorance or vanity; I’ve been stupid.

But I cannot – will not put another notch on my belt of shame, so I look to the Apostle Paul who professes…

“Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Hebrews 8:39)

No amount of sin, hardship, persecution, or the building of walls made with bricks of shame can conquer, overcome, or surpass the love of Jesus Christ.

“There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Hebrews 8:1)

And for that promise I can say…

“God loves me!”

And I am free.

photo: Raye Wortel

photo: Raye Wortel

Stop right now my friend and say, “God loves me!”. Stay on the reality of that statement for just a moment. How did it go? Please let me know, I’d love to hear from you!


2 Replies

  1. Devery

    On this, I absolutely rely, and the confidence it gives me, makes me pert near, obnoxious. Did I say that? Yes, but that IS the way it is. He loves me….I know it….and that is where my faith was born, grows, and is sustained, daily, and takes me from glory to glory. Nothing in the world like it…..His all encompassing love! I’m grateful, to the Holy Spirit, for pursuing me until I believed it.

    1. Love it Devery! “I’m grateful to the Holy Spirit for pursuing me until I believed it.” That’s it! Our God is a runner…always chasing his children! Thanks for stopping by.

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