Written By Joanne Lau, Canada
We love because he first loved us.–1 John 4:19
Relationships. Many of us, myself included, crave to be in one. There was a time in my life when I was head over heels with this guy, whom I shall refer to as Andy.
I remember dreaming of the day Andy would ask me out, and I would treasure every moment we spent together. We were already friends in school, and although something told me that our relationship was purely platonic, I would ignore that voice and continue to revel in his company and crave his attention.
One night, we hung out as usual. To cut a long story short, Andy made it extremely clear that we were no more than friends, and that he treated me as a sister in Christ.
Needless to say, I was crushed. That night, I barely slept. Every single time I closed my eyes, I would think about what he had said. I cried more than I slept that night. I felt like there was no way I could love again. I felt frustrated, angry, and incredibly sad. It was especially hard because I couldn’t bring myself to tell anyone, not even my friends, and I never felt more alone.
Out of desperation to tell someone, I cried out to God, asking Him to give me joy and peace. Then I fell asleep, exhausted by my own grief.
The next morning, after just three hours of sleep, I woke up. To my surprise, the intense feelings of pain and frustration were gone. Instead, they were replaced by feelings of joy and possibly even a tinge of brotherly “love” towards Andy (which was really weird, considering how furious I was with him just a couple of hours before!)
First, I must qualify that I am not a super woman. I know for a fact that I wasn’t able to love Andy out of my own will. Most of us love with conditions; we love people who make us feel good about ourselves, make our hearts race, and give us butterflies in our stomachs.
The only reason I could love Andy as a friend was that I was first shown love by God. Even though his words had hurt me and things hadn’t worked out the way I had hoped, I could still love him because God reminded me how much He first loved me.
God showed us self-sacrificial love in the form of Jesus. Instead of punishing us for our sins, He gave us something that we totally didn’t deserve. Instead of having nothing to do with us, He extended His hand to us, loving us so that we could in turn learn to love people who have hurt us—intentionally or inadvertently.
I’ve since learned from my experience that romantic love will never satisfy. It will never meet my craving for love. Only God is able to love me in such a way that will never disappoint, never fail, and always satisfy me all the days of my life.
Today, I am blissfully married. And while marriage is wonderful, it still doesn’t fully satisfy, nor does it take over God’s place in my life. But that is another story for another time!
God is there, waiting for us to call upon Him and to receive His love. It is all what we want and need. Are you willing to take that step to experience His love today?