My daughter’s dark brown eyes stared up at me from her bed, just above the bright floral comforter pulled up to her chin. She tried to sound casual as she asked her pressing bedtime questions: “Mom, which one of us do you love the most? Do you love Will more than me?”
Minutes earlier, as my daughter waited for me to tuck her in, she watched me stop in the hallway and comfort her hurting brother. The questions swirled in her mind: Does Mom still love me? Does she love my brother more?
I tell my daughter I love her and prove it with my actions every day. I meet her basic needs, shower her with hugs and kisses, engage in activities she loves, and frequently put her desires ahead of my own. This little girl knows she is loved.
And yet, when her brother’s needs delayed me for a couple of minutes, my daughter began to doubt my love for her. She questioned a basic truth that had been proven to her every day for seven years.
Her doubts sound a little too familiar.
The undercurrent of my doubts…
God meets my basic needs daily, and He lavishes undeserved blessings on me: family, friends, good health, a beautiful home, and a machine that spits out coffee whenever I need it. My temporal blessings are many.
My spiritual blessings are even more significant. He gave His Son to save me and give me eternal life. My Heavenly Father has proven His love for me every day of my life.
But when God delays in giving me something I think I need, I start to doubt. I question His timing, His provision, even His goodness. And the undercurrent of these doubts is this: “Does God still love me?”
Maybe you’re wondering why your life feels so difficult. You see the success enjoyed by others and question why your moment hasn’t arrived. You struggle to understand why God hasn’t given you the husband, children, career, health, or circumstances you desire.
We might not say it out loud, but as we look at our struggles, we wonder: “Does God still love me?” In our discontentment and disappointment, we question God’s love for us. We can’t see His love in the midst of our struggles. We’ve cried out to Him for healing, peace, deliverance or strength, and it feels like He’s stopped in the hallway to care for someone else.
Applying the truth to our situation…
What if we applied the truth of Jeremiah 31:3 to our disappointment?
“The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.’” (Jeremiah 31:3, NIV)
“I have loved you with an everlasting love,” says our Heavenly Father. Through our struggles, we can rest in the truth that His love will never end. We can view our circumstances through the lens of God’s love for us.
Not only does God promise His steadfast love, He proved His love for us by sending His Son. Romans 5:8 says: “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (NIV). Christ’s life and death for our salvation point us to God’s unfailing love for us.
God continues to demonstrate His love through all the spiritual blessings we receive in Christ. Ephesians 1 tells us we are chosen, adopted, redeemed, forgiven, and lavishly given the riches of His grace, wisdom, a future inheritance, and the Holy Spirit. These undeserved gifts are a sure and certain anchor for our hope in the Lord’s steadfast love.
Cling to the truth
When it feels like God is ignoring us—when we don’t understand why He hasn’t swooped in and saved the day—let’s cling to the truth. Let’s look to our Savior, see all that God has given us in Him, and know that we are loved. We can have confidence in His unfailing kindness. And we can run into His arms with our questions.
When my daughter doubted my love that night, I didn’t storm out of her room. I sat on her bed, wrapped my arms around her, and reassured her that I will never, ever stop loving her.
Our Heavenly Father is even more patient with us. No matter how often we question His care for us, He will never stop pouring His undeserved, unstoppable, unfathomable love into our hearts.
Marissa Henley, author of Loving Your Friend through Cancer, is a Christ-follower, wife, mom, and cancer survivor who writes and speaks about faith, friendship, Scripture, and suffering. Most days, you’ll find her drinking a latte while shuttling her three kids around town, wondering if the dog will ever learn to stay and if she’ll ever love cooking as much as her husband loves eating. She would love to connect with you on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or at www.marissahenley.com.