Have someone ever hurt your deeply? Has a person you trusted turned against you? Remembering those things still brings pain, doesn’t it? Often we choose to protect ourselves by avoiding such persons and being very careful in choosing those to whom we make ourselves vulnerable. It hurts too much to take big risks!
God is not like us. He risked and received great pain by becoming human. Jesus never forced anyone to follow Him. He invited and then accepted their decision. But how it must have hurt when those He invited turned away. He went on to suffer rejection, shame and even death at the hands of human beings.
God goes ever further. Now, He actually lives inside those who follow Jesus. He knows our thoughts, sees our actions, and, I’m sure, cringes at some of the things we do and say. We can’t possibly understand the the risk to which God exposes Himself by being intimately personal with us. As author Philip Yancey puts it, “Words fail to capture the enormity of descent when a sovereign God takes up residence in a person and says in effect ‘Don’t hurt me. Don’t push me away.'”
Don’t reject Him. Trust Him. Listen to Him. When we do, we find that He, who risks being hurt by us, will never hurt us back.
The sovereign God gives a choice. We can turn away, or we can turn toward Him, honoring His presence in our lives by making Him our first priority. Then, our hearts will be overwhelmed by the constant attention of our great Lover, who simply asks that we don’t hurt Him.
“My precious Lord, I want to be often and long alone with You.” – Gary Thomas