Right now, this minute, answer me true: do you feel loved?
Flawed question, isn’t it. What do feelings have to do with fact? They flirt with it, maybe, sashaying around behaving as if they’re partnered with truth while instead they’re entertaining all manner of wild notions in some dark side room of the mind.
We are wedded to our feelings, but they consistently cheat on us. We think we’ve got our emotions beholden only to find they’ve betrayed us. We smile and assure others we’re fine – thanks for asking! - but inside we’re pushing down depression like it’s a willful child who refuses to sit at the table. Or the mind, which should be boss, finds itself reporting to feelings even though they’re interns new on the job every day.
Jesus asked a lot of questions, but I’m not recollecting one along the line of, “So how are you feeling today?”
He cared about health and personal well-being, “Do you want to get well?” (John 5), and scriptural authority, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” (Luke 10).
Jesus was concerned about spiritual understanding, “Do you still not see?” (Mark 8:17), and faith, “Why did you doubt?” (Matt. 14: 29-31). And he cared deeply about our very human fears and failures: “Why are you so afraid?” (Matt. 8:26).
God is concerned about our emotions, our beliefs, and our capacity to comprehend his creation, but he never instructs us to respond on the basis of feelings that are fickle at best and deceptive at worst.
Does my cat feel loved? She’s safe and warm and well-fed, and occasionally she’ll permit me to pet her. I might even hear a faint rumble that sounds like contentment. I don’t know if she feels loved.
She only comes to me when she wants something.
She disappears once she’s satisfied without a backward look of appreciation.
She is haughty, picks fights and pollutes the home provided for her with messes emanating from both ends.
But I love her, yes I do. She hasn’t done anything to earn my love; she doesn’t have to. I love her just because.
And you know what? Someone loves me that same way too. And He loves you. Whether you’re feelin’ it today or not does not change what is truer than true.
GOD LOVES YOU.
Too often we behave as if He is here to serve us rather than the other way around. We ignore Him until we want something. We make messes and then expect Him to clean them up.
But He loves us, oh yes He does.
"So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture…
None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us." Romans 8:31-39 The Message