We all want to be loved. Whether it’s the stories in films or novels that we become wrapped up in, the longing for community, or the hope for intimacy with a potential mate, we all long to experience love in one form or another. Yet in the search to find love, we’re often left with the taste of love lost.
Our heart is never neutral. It’s ever-softening or ever-hardening. When we’re reminded to guard our hearts in the Proverbs, it’s because our hearts are always affected by the choices we make, by the love that we find and the love that we lose. Perhaps the story sounds familiar of a person spurned by a lover – maybe let down by a community or left brokenhearted by someone close to them – who swears, then, that they will never let it happen again. They’re speaking the language of the heart hardening. Love has been lost. And it hurts.
While the scriptures remind us of the beauty of love, it also recognizes that love in a fallen world will seem broken at times. Biblical heroes also find the bitter taste of betrayal and distrust, of unrequited love, of hearts held out and left wanting and waiting. But Paul also reminds us in Romans 8 that love remains worthwhile, and that there is One who provides the all-encompassing, truly unconditional love we all are seeking.
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life,
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 8:38-39)
There is one great love, given to us unconditionally from the God of all things, that will never leave us in the familiar despair of a love that lets us down. There is no end. There is no circumstance within which that love can be exhausted. It is, by definition, true love.
We are all sinners who have fallen short of the glory of God, but He still loves us and always will. Nothing you do will ever change that. If you feel alone, remember that God is with you. Let his love make you strong. Let His love remind you that you matter to Him. Let His love begin to open your heart again.
By Matt Conner