Few days back, I had to endure some severe pain in my body. No medication, no pain killer, nothing worked. I was in tears because of the intensity of the pain. My entire family did not know how to deal with the situation. Though some suggested that I should be admitted to the hospital right away, I was in no condition to travel.
In such a severe pain, I wanted to divert my mind and opened my email, and there was this email I receive daily from gracegems.org, with the title, “HE cannot love you more – and He will not love you less.” As soon as I saw the heading, to be honest, my mind thought that it is going to be a devotional, where it says, God loves you so much and He would deliver you from this affliction… apparently, my mind has become so tuned to this century Christian teaching. But it was a devotional from Spurgeon and it was exactly opposite to what I thought… and it brought tears into my eyes… tears of joy and tears of love. And I surrendered myself, with all the pain and affliction, to the love of God and soon, the pain became tolerable. This is the devotional.
He cannot love you more–and He will not love you less! – Charles Spurgeon
“Having loved His own who were in the world–He loved them to the very end!” – John 13:1
Christian, God’s love to you is always the same. He cannot love you more–and He will not love you less!
Never, when afflictions multiply, when terrors frighten you or when your distresses abound–does God’s love falter or flag. Let the rod fall ever so heavily upon you–the hand that moves, like the heart that prompts the stroke, is full of love! Judge not the Lord by feeble sense–but trust Him for His grace. Whether He brings you down into the depths of misery, or lifts you up into the seventh Heaven of delight–His faithful love never varies or fluctuates–it is everlasting in its continuity!
“His faithful love endures forever!” – Psalm 136:1
“I have loved you, My people, with an everlasting love!” – Jeremiah 31:3
“The faithful love of the Lord never ends!” – Lamentations 3:22
As I was lying in the emergency ward, slowly I started to realize that the hospital staff were avoiding looking at my face. I was not surprised by that, as I had gotten used to such aversion by then. Some of the church believers who visited me at home when I was sick, would turn their faces away as soon as they took one look at my face. Initially I used to think it was because of disgust, but then as the tear drops rolled down their cheeks, I understood that it was because they were unable to accept what had happened to my face, that they turned their faces away.
But what I remember most was when my daughter came to see me at the emergency ward, she had actually refused to come inside as she was worried in what condition I was. Only after she was assured that I had become stable, she came in. Yet, the moment she saw my face, she turned her face away as she could not stomach what she had seen.
I don’t blame any of them for their reaction. Because before going to ICU, one night I woke up around 3 AM and just wanted to see how I looked. And the face I saw in the mirror scared me so much, I cried so loudly. Not only my face had changed, but one of my eyes was completely blocked because of the swelling and even the other eye, I was only able to open partially. It was a horrible face to look at, especially at 3 in the morning. So, I don’t blame any of them for their reaction. But they all had few questions in their minds: is it really God’s plan for my face to be thus disfigured? How could it be? Isn’t our God a loving God? To be honest, I had the same questions on that morning when I cried aloud.
But when I was at ICU, as I was thinking about all these, suddenly I remembered one of most known passages from the Bible – the 53rd chapter from the Book of Isaiah where he writes about the suffering Servant. And it made me realize how much the God our Father loves us.
Think about this. I am not that good looking to begin with. So, if I am disfigured, not many would even know the difference. But we are talking about Jesus Christ. HE is Chief among ten thousands. HE is altogether lovely. Jesus is fairer than the children of men. HE is so precious. His lips utter the most gracious words a human could ever hear. His eyes show the love He has for us. In person, Jesus is overflowing with all the graces and unction of the Spirit of the Living God. HE has all the glory of God our Father. And His Father and our Father, His God and our God, is very pleased with His Son and our Savior Jesus Christ.
Yet, when the time came for His Son to suffer for our sins, God our Father allowed it. HE knew that His beloved Son’s face would be swollen because they slapped Him and pulled the hair from His beard. Our Father in Heaven knew that His Son’s face would be covered with spit, sweat, blood and dirt. That Jesus, His Son, would be pierced for our transgressions and for our iniquities, He would be crushed. Yet, our heavenly Father allowed it.
As I consider the anger of those who love me, that the Lord had allowed such a trial for me, I look at what He allowed His only Son to undergo for my sake, and to be honest, I realize there is no way I could ever understand this love, this love God has for us. And all I can do is, bow my head in humility and say, “Lord, I am not worthy. But You sent Your Word and You healed me. All praise, honor, glory and strength is Yours, forever and ever. Amen.”
As I was spending my first night in ICU on July 8th, I was sort of jumpy. Even the smallest disturbance was waking me up. So, it was not a surprise that I woke up at 4 in the morning, when I realized my bed was being moved. Initially I was given the last bed in the ICU and they were shifting my bed so that as soon as the ICU doors were opened, I would be the first person anyone who enters would see. In my slumber, I asked the nurses why they were shifting me to this position and why at that hour; I was told that they were given instructions so that I could be monitored easily. I understood that since I was in a serious condition, they wanted to keep an eye on me all the time. Four hours later, I realized how wrong I was in my understanding.
Around 8 AM, the medical students, interns and various specialists started to arrive and suddenly I was the cynosure of everyone there. The cardiologists were sure that my heart was failing and hence, the edema attack happened. The nephrologists were very confident that it was the failure of kidneys that lead to my condition. The regular physician was adamant that I had taken some country medicine that resulted in an allergic reaction; another physician was sure that I was bitten by a poisonous insect.
Every specialist had an entourage around him, with interns and students who wanted to impress the specialist. So, everyone suggested the tests and scans that must be done to determine the cause of my sickness. Then the specialist would approach me and would ask me a couple of questions in a very serious tone, making it cleat that he is “the specialist.” Once that specialist leaves with his group, the next one would arrive with his group and everything would be repeated again – tests and scans that must be done, questions asked in a serious tone and so on. From 8 AM, this went on till 11:30 AM. By then, I was exhausted. But I was not allowed to rest, as I had to take all the tests and scans that were recommended by the interns and students. By evening, I was too tired. Then one of the nurses assured me that the next day, July 10th, being the second Sunday of the month, and is a day off for all the medical staff, I would have a very relaxing day.
But then there were some eager beavers, who wanted to impress their bosses, and score some brownie points, and they showed up on Sunday. They would ask the same questions that the specialists asked, except in a very friendly tone, with a smile – as if the sole purpose of their visit is my well-being. Except, it was more of a nuisance, as it was a Sunday, they kept coming in whenever they wanted. They would wake me up and ask if I had any trouble sleeping – seriously.
When July 11th, Monday, arrived, I was prepared for the onslaught. All the test and scan results had arrived. The specialists and their entourage would talk seriously among themselves and then ask me the same questions again, but there was nothing new. I was disturbed, but not as much as I was bothered on Saturday. By evening, I came to know that all my tests and scans have shown that there was nothing wrong with any of my organs. It was nothing but edema, and there were nothing dramatic, like a failing heart or a collapsed lung, attached with it.
Then Tuesday arrived. No one bothered to even look at me. The group would come, look at the fresh patients at ICU, would just pass by me, when the specialist would say to the group, “Oh, this is that edema patient” and they would nod their heads in agreement and that is all. At times, there might be a weakest link in that entourage, who would look at me and smile weakly. But that was all.
It took them just 72 hours to quench their curiosity about me. They had learned whatever they wanted to learn about me, and that was not quite interesting to them. So, they lost their interest and did not even care about me after that.
Contrast this with God’s care about us. It took those people 72 hours to lose interest in me. But God knew about me before the universe was created. The LORD knows everything about us from time eternal. Yet, He has not lost a bit of interest in us. The Most Sovereign LORD cares about us today as He did when He created the earth so that we can live here safely. And He is preparing for us mansions to stay, with the same care. Time has not eroded His interest in us or His care for us.
Once the medical professionals learned whatever they wanted to learn about me, they lost interest in me. It is not that they learned everything about me. Just those things that pertain to their field of study. But look at God. HE knows everything about us. Not just the “spiritual” things. God knows everything about us. There is nothing hidden from His eyes. All our thoughts, words, deeds, everything is known to Him. There are no surprises for Him. Yet, His interests in us has not changed a bit. With the same interest that He had on us when He decided where we would be born, what would be our hair colour, who would be our parents and all other details, our loving Father in Heaven is looking at all the smaller and greater details with interest.
Because God’s interest in us is not because of any curiosity or intrigue in us; for He knows everything about us. His interest in us is because He loves us. And there is nothing on earth that we can compare with His love. No human being or pets can love you like this. This is the love of Heavenly Father. This is the love of our Father Who gave up His only Son for us, even though He knew everything about us; though we have no surprises to make Him glad. For this love can not be understood by humans. This is the love of God. The love of Almighty. We can only cherish it. And cherish it, we can, for eternity.
But it is impossible to exhaust God’s love, and it is impossible to exhaust my love if it flows from the Spirit of God within me. The love of God pays no attention to my prejudices caused by my natural individuality. If I love my Lord, I have no business being guided by natural emotions — I have to feed His sheep. We will not be delivered or released from His commission to us. Beware of counterfeiting the love of God by following your own natural human emotions, sympathies, or understandings. That will only serve to revile and abuse the true love of God.
Many good Christians often miss receiving many of the blessings from the LORD because of one small oversight. When we need to receive a blessing, generally we say that we will receive the blessings for sure, because the LORD loves us. Even when we lack faith, we assume that the LORD will surely bless us because He loves us.
And He is filled with love for all of us – not just for those who believe in Him, but for every one of us. So, why is not everyone blessed? Why does the LORD bless only few of us, but not others?
Imagine you are a parent. You have, say, two sons. You love both of them. You love equally. But imagine, if one of your sons does something that pleases you, while the other son does something that displeases you. You still love them both, but at that moment, the way you treat one son differs from the way you treat the other, right? Why? Because one of the sons did something that pleased you.
It is the same with the LORD. God is love and He loves all of us. But there are times we please Him. There are some who please Him all the time. And what do you do when you are pleased by the son you love? You will bless him, give him whatever he wants. It is the same with the LORD. But, then how can anyone please the LORD?
Yes, dear friend, it is impossible to please God without faith. In Hebrews 10:38, the LORD says this:
“But my righteous one will live by his faith.
But if he turns back, My soul will not be pleased with him.”
– Heb. 10:38 (AUV-NT)
Yes, the LORD will not be pleased with someone who does not have faith in Him. But what about love, then? Doesn’t the Bible say that of love, hope and faith, love is the greatest (1 Cor. 13:13). Yes, love triumphs faith any day. But we also should not forget something else. When we truly, really love the LORD, then believing in the LORD should not be a problem, because:
Yes, if we truly love our God, if our love for Jesus Christ is real, then we will have no problem in believing His promises. If we have trouble believing the promises, then there may be a problem with our love.
So, let us make a decision now. Let us love our LORD with all our heart, all our strength and all our mind. Let our love be complete by the grace of our Savior Jesus Christ. Let that love make us believe in our LORD completely. Let our faith become strong in our love. And, let us please the LORD more and more, let Him be pleased with us day and night. And may the blessing of our LORD be with us. Amen.
|Ephesians 6:4“Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”
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