Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered." No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 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. Romans 8:35-39
"Don't forget...don't forget....don't forget...."Ahhh, make it stop! As my toddler cuddled that stuffed bear, all I could think about was ripping its head off, pulling out the fluffy inside and smashing the hidden voice recorder. I should probably give some context to my outrage.
We love living in Wilmington, but calling the Carolina coast home means we are far away from our extended family. We don't get to see them as often as we'd like due to the distance, life getting busy, and the ungodly cost of plane tickets. So, for one Christmas, my brother-in-law decided to give our girls a teddy bear that could record his voice. With a simple touch of the bear's heart, Uncle Jimmy would begin to speak.
The girls loved the present way too much meaning we heard the same message over and over and over again. They would hit the button so often and so frequently it sounded like Jimmy had a stuttering problem. That toy got them through a lot of rough patches. Anytime they were sad, scared, lonely, or nervous, teddy would make an appearance to comfort them, and Jim's message would come in loud and clear.
When we're knee deep in trouble or encounter adversity, we often doubt and distrust God's presence. During those moments when there seems to be more questions than answers, we question God's heart. Where are you God? Can't you see I'm struggling? Do you even care? Disappointment deepens the perceived level of distance between God and us. If we allow it, suffering possesses the power to drive a wedge in our connection with our Creator. Sometimes the silence makes us wonder if God has abandoned us.
Today's verses should bring us all comfort. No matter where we are or what is happening to us, NOTHING can separate us from His love. Not the trouble we face. Not the poor choices we might make. Not the doubt we try to overcome. Not the inadequacies we feel. Not those moments when our enemies seem to be winning.
For my girls, the bear's heart gave them a message, "Don't forget....Uncle Jimmy loves you." Christ's heart got displayed through the cross. By conquering death, Jesus not only gave us life; He also created a way where we are never alone. Accepting this gift enables the Holy Spirit to reside within us, which means wherever we go, God is right by our side comforting us, teaching us wisdom, providing us courage, and reminding us that we are loved.
I can't think of a better line worth repeating. NOTHING can separate us from His love.
Where do you need to be reminded that nothing can separate you from Christ's love?
God, I come to You today thankful that You've never given up on me. You never leave me or forsake me. I might walk away, but You never do. May my feet stand securely, and my mind meditate on this truth. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.