“In Christ we live as God’s beloved before we were born and after we have died; all the circumstances in between will not negate that.” Author and theologian, Henri Nouwen, made that statement and it rings so true and brings me such comfort.
Do you believe it? Do you believe before you were born God loved you? That God knit you together in your mother’s womb (Psalm 130:13)? That he watched you being formed and saw you before you were born (Psalm 130:15 and 16)? Do you believe you will be with him after you die? That God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, so that everyone (that’s you and me) who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life (John. 3:16)?
Jesus told us he was going to prepare a place for us so that where he is we may be also (John. 14:2-3). Do you know you’ll be with Jesus for all eternity? If you’re uncertain, is it possibly because of the next portion of Nouwen’s statement, “all the circumstances in between”? All the circumstances between the womb and the tomb — whew, that’s a lot of stuff! And I have a feeling the “stuff” in my life isn’t all that different from the “stuff” in your life.
So many times I’ve messed up and so many times I’ve missed God’s mark. In our natural minds we wonder how all the circumstances in between could not negate God’s love for us.
A friend and I shared she and I love others so conditionally. If you do what I want you to do or think you should do, I freely give my love to you, but if you don’t, I withhold my love from you. But here’s the beauty of our God: Love isn’t a feeling to God. God doesn’t give his love or withhold his love on a whim. God is love (1 John. 4:16). That means the nature or essence of God is love. And he never changes or casts a shifting shadow (James 1:7).
You and I can count on the fact God loves us! In Christ we live as God’s beloved. If you have confessed with your mouth “Jesus is Lord” and believe in your heart God raised him from the dead (Romans 10:9), if you believe God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin and people are made right with God when they believe Jesus sacrificed his life (Romans 3:25), then you’re “in Christ.”
We don’t earn his love, we only believe God’s word. Do you believe? A simple “yes, Lord, I believe” will suffice. Now, let peace flood your soul knowing in Christ you live as God’s beloved.
Kimberly Burchiel is the executive director of Life Choices Community Pregnancy Clinic.