My threenager got angry with me and screamed “I don’t even love you! I’m never going to love you! You aren’t mine anymore!” Words that hurt more than he knows, even though I know he doesn’t actually mean those words (thank God). I know he’s just angry because he had to wait for something he wanted.
As I quietly responded with, “I love you. I will always love you,” I thought of all the times I effectively tell God I don’t love Him. When I don’t feel like spending time with Him, when I get angry and scream in my head. I know, in those moments, He is quietly telling me, “I love you. I will always love you.” I may not want to hear it at those times, just like my child doesn’t want to hear me say it to him when he’s angry, but I know He says it. I know He holds me, like I hold my son at those times, even while he flails and screams louder.
Knowing that makes my heart hurt more. I know how much my heart hurts to hear my son say such things to me – how much more must God’s heart hurt, with so many of us telling Him we don’t love Him at times? And so, when my son says that to me, I try to think of God, and to hold Jesus and lean on Him, just being with Him and consoling Him in that way.
That makes it sound like I have it all figured out, but I don’t. But I’m learning – learning about how His heart must break for us, even as He continually reaches out to hold us while we fight. I never knew how much being a parent would teach me about love and pain and God. While I hate being screamed at like that, I can also thank God for the opportunity to learn this kind of love, to thank God for my (minuscule) sharing in the cross.