What would it be like to have someone love you forever–regardless of the way you look or act, despite disagreements and difficulties that arise?
How would it feel to know you will never be abandoned or cast aside for a “newer model?” How would life be if you knew the person who loved you would always be there for you, encouraging and challenging you to become the best God created you to be?
Some people enjoy a lasting, fulfilling relationship with the love of their life while others struggle in painful arrangements where their partner tears them down and treats them with contempt until they feel worthless and unloved.
It was a painful disappointment in a love relationship that led George Matheson to wrote the hymn, “O Love That Will Not Let Me Go.” George was born in Scotland in 1842, and was blind by his 18th birthday. Despite his handicap, he graduated from college and later from seminary. He pastored several churches in Scotland where he was greatly loved and respected.
After being engaged to a young woman for a short time, she decided she would not be content to be married to a blind man. She broke the engagement.
Shortly thereafter, George wrote these words:
O Love that will not let me go
I rest my weary soul in Thee
I give Thee back the life I owe
That in Thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.
George realized something in the midst of his pain that we so easily forget. The love of God, displayed through Jesus Christ, is the only love that will not let us go.
“Can anything separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean He no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted or are hungry or cold or in danger or threatened with death? No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from His love. Death can’t and life can’t. The angels can’t and the demons can’t. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, and even the powers of hell can’t keep God’s love away. Whether we are high above the sky or in the deepest ocean, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:35-39 NLT)
When you look to Jesus as the source of your love and joy, you are no longer dependent on others to meet your deepest need for love and acceptance.
George Matheson learned that his self-worth and fulfillment in life comes from the Lord. He wrote:
O Joy that seekest me through pain
I cannot close my heart to Thee
I trace the rainbow through the rain
And feel the promise is not vain
That morn shall tearless be.
What do you long for most in life? What are you doing to fill the hole in your soul that yearns for relationship with someone you can trust to love you unconditionally?
If your searching for acceptance and fulfillment leads you from one relationship to another, you will spend the rest of your life searching and being disappointed. Even the most perfect, loving partner will fail to meet all of your needs.
Your search needs to begin with your relationship with God, experiencing him in a real, personal way instead of just knowing about him. The knowledge in your head needs to connect to an experience in your heart where you have fallen in love with Him, where you have surrendered everything you are to everything He is.
Have you made that connection? Are you struggling to be good enough to merit God’s approval or have you realized you are too sinful and powerless to change in your own strength?
Do you realize that Jesus’ death on the cross paid for your sins in FULL, and his offer of forgiveness and freedom is available to you if you will just ask and receive?
The first step to finding love and acceptance begins at the cross where you can exchange your insecurities, failures, and despicable sins for the generous mercy and everlasting love of God, your “Abba” Father, and Jesus Christ, your Lord.
In “Into Abba’s Arms” Sandra Wilson writes:
“With eyes wide open, in the midst of hundreds of people, I can silently affirm ‘Abba, I belong to you.’ Alone in the dark stillness of a hotel room, I can whisper, ‘Abba, I belong to you.’ And I am instantly reconnected with the truth that I am not alone or outcast. The King of kings and Lord of lords has set his love on me and calls me his beloved. I’m constantly amazed at how this quiets pounding anxieties triggered by fear of abandonment.”
When you realize you are fully loved and accepted by God, it will be easier to tolerate the pain of rejection, lack of appreciation, and the sting of criticism you may encounter in your relationships with other people.
“Experience God–not merely know truths about him, but with unmistakable clarity sense his presence, hear his voice, rest in his love–even in the middle of unbearable struggles and deep emotional wounds.” (Larry Crabb)
His love will never let you go! “Your unfailing love is better to me than life itself.” (Psalm 63:3 NLT)
Copyright © 2002, 2013 Brenda Branson