I overheard two men talking the other day. One said to the other, “If more people understood how much God loves them it would make it easier for them to love God.” I glanced at the facial expression of the man who was listening. He was going to think about that one. Yet, I think the guy might be right. It is when we feel loved that we more naturally love others. In fact, we typically don’t love those who don’t love us, while we tend to be very open, receptive, and giving to those from whom we feel loved.
Our problem is that we look for human indications that God loves us, and we often have a hard time seeing them. We know that the Bible tells us, “We love because God loved us first.” Those are great words but we are a people who want words, no matter how great, to be felt to some degree…or they don’t seem too real. In other words, it’s great to know that God loves us but where’s the evidence that He does which we can touch and feel?
The theologically minded person would respond that the greatest evidence that God loves us is that He sent Jesus to die for our sins, so that we wouldn’t have to bear the stripes of our iniquities. Even so, that happened over two thousand years ago and it has been put in front of us so much that it’s easy to lose its significance. It’s even easier to lose its message and feeling of love.
Our busy lifestyle is one of the biggest roadblocks to us feeling loved whether it is from other people or from God. We must regularly stop the perpetual motion of our lives and look around us. We need to take time to let our five senses experience life. It’s only when we can see our blessings that we can truly appreciate them. Appreciating our blessings moves our psyche into the mode of feeling. Feelings are what penetrate the cold and hard world around us. To feel God’s love, we need to see His blessings in our life around us, no matter how dim it may seem at times. It’s when we develop a thankful heart that we allow God’s love to penetrate us. It’s in those times that we can say with blessed assurance: “God is with me; God loves me.”
And so, I think the man was right. It is easier to love God when we know He loves us. To really feel His love for us, we must take time and pay attention to the subtleties of life’s blessings around us. It takes effort to develop a thankful heart that is always seeing God’s hand in our lives. Yet, these blessings are the greatest reminders that God loves us. As we take time to be reminded of God’s love for us, we’ll more greatly appreciate our Lord’s sacrifice and we’ll naturally love the one who is our Provision. Amidst it all, we’ll see and feel that God loved us first; we’ll love Him more; and we’ll love others as well.