God loves us, yes. And we want to see that, we want to have evidence of His love. We always do; we find it hard to believe that someone really loves us when we don't see them showing that love in some way.
And we sit here and pray and sing and read, and we keep wondering, where is God's love?
But I think we too easily forget the most significant display of His love, as well as the experiences we have had in our own lives of His love and compassion...
We also forget the 'small' things He puts in our lives every day - food, (warm/cold) water, couches/chairs, cars, clothes, stuff like that.
But, it is still harder to seek Him and praise Him in the times of bad....isn't it? It is easier to praise God for being loving when we feel that love. It is easier to ask God for help when we feel His presence in our lives.
Keeping our eyes on the prize, does God's love or presence in our lives change? Or is it just our perception of those things that changes?
So why does our perception change? If we are not feeling the Lord in what we do and think, what are we doing wrong? Maybe it is what we aren't doing that is wrong? Jesus often went to solitary places to pray. He sought His Father more than anything on this earth, and He stayed focused on His Father more than anyone else on this earth. That seems logical, right?
What would happen in our lives if we earnestly sought the King of Kings and Lord of Lords? And what does that even look like, anyway?
And now, change the perspective. What are things like from God's point of view?
Obviously, we don't know. But can we speculate? I honestly am not sure about that either..
Let's start with what we know... God wants to be with us, right? I mean, He wants to be with us so much that in order to be with us He took the punishment that was necessary to bridge the gap (so to speak). He wants to be with us so much that He even sacrificed His own Son to the wrath that was due to us. Wow.
Now, in order for that to have its full effect, we first have to understand our sinfulness in the light of God's goodness. We may think we are 'not that bad of a person' by a human standard, sure. Maybe even a 'good person' by the human standard. But on God's standard, we are all evil. We have all fallen short. We all fail to meet the requirements of holiness. And so, we deserve punishment. We deserve separation.
But God doesn't want us to receive those things....isn't that something? God doesn't want us to receive what we deserve. The wages of sin is death, but instead God gives us the gift of life through His son.
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saves a wretch like me!
Yet still...do we always feel encouraged by that? If the joy of the Lord is our strength, what brings the Lord joy, and therefore brings us strength?
How long must I wait, must I wait for You?
How long till I see Your face, see You shining through?
Cause I'm on my knees, begging You to notice me
I'm on my knees; Father will you turn to me??
[Hold my Heart - Tenth Avenue North]