I began to think He didn't choose well. His love kept betraying Him. She would love him and live with Him and life would look good and then she would grow restless. She began cheating on Him. Over and over. This was actually her PATTERN of life. Love Him, cheat on Him, life begins to go wrong and she runs back to Him hoping He'll take her back. He does. Every time. And every time my heart breaks a little. Really? He's taking her back again? She's just going to cheat on Him again. WHY does she do this? Doesn't she see that part of the pattern is that after the cheating life gets hard? Those that she cheats with never make her happy. Simply heartbreaking, but a story that is played out every day, all over the world. It's the stuff of Lifetime movies and of real life, unfortunately.
We liken ourselves to God and make distinctions about what should and should not be forgiven. We hear a story like the one above and believe, SHE should not be forgiven. Toss her out! On the other hand, we look at our own lives and think I should never be forgiven. I have heard over and over, "If you only knew what I've done and who I am". This is one of the enemy's greatest lies and schemes. If he can make us put ourselves in the judges seat and determining who will and will not receive forgiveness, then he has won on 2 fronts. He has created a judgemental, unforgiving people and a people that will not accept the forgiveness that God offers.
The story I shared about my friend and His love illustrates crazy love. Love that is abundant and pursuing and dangerous. His love knows no bounds. As much as I think it's crazy for Him to keep allowing her to come back, I also want that kind of love. I think we all do.
Guess what? He's available. Yes, the story above is from the book of Judges. Read the first few chapters and you'll get the picture quickly. These words are repeated throughout the book in this order, "Then the land had peace for 40 years . . .Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord (in other places, "did whatever they wanted and didn't care about the Lord"). . .They were captured by so and so and life got very hard . . .They cried out to the Lord. . .He heard and rescued them". That's crazy love. Even as the Isrealites abandoned the Lord and cheated on Him in the midst of a great life, He loved them and never left them. This happened over and over again. They loved Him and left Him. Life got hard and they begged for another chance. It sounds crazy for Him to take them back but for my sake, I'm sure glad He does.
He offers us that same kind of love. He offers THAT kind of faithfulness. No matter our cheating hearts, He is waiting. We can't go too far (just read what the Israelites did!) or stray too long. He is always waiting to take us back. Crazy love. Abundant love.
Makes you want to be faithful, doesn't it? Makes you want to examine your heart and ask, "Where am I cheating?". Lord, I don't want to cause you pain like that. I want to be faithful to that crazy, abundant love that you offer.