“I don’t see how You can love me still.”
We have all uttered these words in one way or another. Whether aloud to God or silently in our hearts, we have wondered: how? In the midst of our failures, our misunderstandings, our apathy, and our miniscule capacity for love as it compares to God’s, we ask …
How can it be that He would love me still?
We only have our human framework to attempt to understand God’s love, and how limited we are! One of the many shades of God’s beauty is His incomprehensibility. His ways are higher than our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9), His thoughts infinitely higher than our thoughts, His love immeasurably greater and deeper and more longsuffering than our own. The cry of our hearts echoes David:
“When I look at Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have set in place—what is man that You are mindful of him, or the son of man that You care for Him?” – Psalm 8:3-4
We cannot begin to scratch the surface of worthiness. We are unworthy of God’s time and attention, yet we find ourselves surrounded by Him and invited into fellowship. Our capacity for sin and failure should make us unworthy of God’s kindness, yet His grace overflows to us and His mercy is renewed with every passing day (Lamentations 3:22-23). Again, we say with David:
“I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against You, You only, have I sinned and done what is evil in Your sight…” – Psalm 51:3-4
We rightly grieve our shortcomings. We feel the broad gap between the holiness of God and the brokenness of man. Our sins are ever before us.
“Run and run and run is all I’ve ever done…Fight and fight and fight – oh God, you know I’ve tried. But I can’t tide these demons over.”
We are in an ongoing battle with our flesh. Running from God, running from our messes, fighting desperately against temptation, met with setback after setback—at times, we may live in utter, despairing shame.
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved.” – Ephesians 2:4-5
This God—our Father and the Lifter of our heads—does not give us the burden of shame; He offers to bear it. He does not ask us to live in fear of punishment or in despairing regret; He calls us into fullness of life. This is the mystery of the love of God. We ask, “How can you love me still?” and He simply answers, “This is who I Am.”
We may spend all our days wondering at this reality, because our hearts and minds meet their limits where God’s extends into eternity. His capacity to love us despite our position will never make sense to us, His Created. But we are not meant to understand; we are meant to marvel, to rejoice, to adore. We are meant to come back, time and time again, no matter the circumstance, and lay our neediness at the feet of the One who will always say, “I love you still.”