“Of all the nooses I’ve discovered wrapped around my neck, none originated with [God].” I made this statement in “A Simple Yes.” And of all the things I’ve recently seen and dealt with, I find that this truth is the gold among so much dross.
God didn’t heal my bruised and battered will “just because.” No, He wanted me to know something about who He is, and He wanted me to know it beyond all doubt. The issue of my will’s intactness was the source of great suffering – my own, certainly, but also that of many others I hurt over the years. The very nature of free will ensured that not a single aspect of my life was untouched by this suffering. So when God delivered me, Light burned through every part of me: my past, my heart, my mind, my body and my soul.
I saw my life deeper and clearer than ever before, especially my relationships. As a result, I feel like my days are now filled with either repentance or the work of forgiving. And it’s wonderful! It’s cleansing and healing and very, very needed. But even this is secondary to what I’ve learned about the divine nature of our sovereign God. Quite simply, God has always loved me perfectly.
The single greatest contention I’ve ever had with God was how much pain He allowed to be inflicted in His Name. I’ve suffered plenty at the hands of unrepentant humanity, but that suffering had a kind of clarity to it. It was straightforward, unsurprising, clean even. But the wounds I sustained at the hands of those who claimed to serve God? They were twisted and dirty and SO personal. It enraged me beyond all reason and rationality, and try as I might, I couldn’t see any purpose. It was like being beaten repeatedly by a bagpiper while listening to the wails of a bagpipe, and then being told that the healing for the beatings and the answer to all my problems lay in marrying a bagpiper and becoming one myself. How can this be, God? What on earth am I missing here?!
I know that I’m not the first to struggle with this, nor will I be the last. Martha’s current devotional series, Sovereign Love, addresses this very thing and calls it “the most basic question of faith: Is God in absolute power and is He perfectly good?” Well, this is how that question is being answered in my life. When His Light blazed through my memories, I saw the Lord there. I saw Love standing and comforting and calling and protecting and providing and sheltering. He was always there. Hate called itself love, but that didn’t make it so. Evil called itself good, but sooner or later, the truth came out.
For that which is known about God is evident to them and made plain in their inner consciousness, because God [Himself] has shown it to them.
Rom. 1:19 AMP
God has always loved me perfectly. Every taunt, every manipulation, every violation, every domination—they “meant evil against me, but God meant it for good” (Gen. 50:20). The very pervasiveness of the wounds inflicted by religious evil means that the truth of God’s unstoppable Love now shines in EVERY area of my life. Everywhere I look, I see His Love. He let me have my enraged and bitter “no” but it was no barrier to His love for me. I hated Him openly, and He was undaunted. I told Him that I would NEVER be His, and He said, “Okay” and went right on loving me. God was completely unmoved by the rebellious defiance of Him that was my response to the life He gave me. He loved me, and He loved me perfectly.
THIS is who God is: perfect LOVE. Evil is no match for Him. Evil done in God’s name is no match for Him. And I, I am absolutely no match for the Love that Conquers All.
God is Love. This is who He is.
“I have been found by those who did not seek Me; I have shown (revealed) Myself to those who did not [consciously] ask for Me.”
Romans 10:20 AMP