“I have loved you with an everlasting love;
Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you and continued My faithfulness to you (Jeremiah 31:3 AMP).”
If I could have used any domain name it would have simply been – “Relentless.” Not because I am relentless, but because God has been relentlessly pursuing me even amidst the darkest seasons of my life. The Bible is a beautiful portrait of the lengths a relentless God will go to save his children. The lengths God has gone to save me. To save you. The God of the universe loves me and He loves you so much that He relentlessly pursues us! There is nothing that can happen to you or that you can do to stop God’s love:
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38-39 NIV).
God is relentless! He is in the business of loving people with a never stopping, never giving up, always and forever love! He is in the business of forgiveness. Of bringing healing and hope. Of accepting us regardless of our faults and failures. He looks at us and He sees us as beautiful! He looks at us in our brokenness and pain and He declares us worth it! Jesus willingly faced the cross on my behalf. On your behalf. So that we might enjoy His presence for all eternity. He created us for His glory. In our weaknesses, we show His power. In our brokenness, we show His power to redeem. To restore. To heal.
In my life experiences, God has shown up most powerfully amidst my darkest moments, including the season of my life following the rape. Even though the details of this seasons may be unique, I believe other rape survivors can relate to my journey. Aside from rape survivors, I believe most people have experienced rejection and needed to extend forgiveness to those who have offended them. It is my hope that as I reflect on these memories it is clear they are no longer just darkness, but a source of light in my life as well. A source of hope and encouragement. A testimony of God’s relentless love.
When I reflect upon this season of my life I am not overwhelmed by the darkness. I am not defeated by the darkness. The God of the universe loves me! He has created billions of people. Who am I that He should even be mindful of me? The darkest moments are now reminders of God’s goodness in my life, because if not for God’s grace, I would never have moved toward healing and wholeness. Honestly, I may not even be alive!
No, I am reminded of God’s goodness toward me. His gentleness. His tenderness. I am overwhelmed when I recall how powerfully He met me in my time of desperation. He overwhelmed me with His love. He overwhelmed me with His goodness toward me. I am overwhelmed by the memory that during this period I experienced God’s love and forgiveness more powerfully than ever before. He became so real to me, I could sense His presence. I see how He was moving in my heart and the hearts of those He placed around me to deliver me from my despair. So that I could be called an: “oak of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor (Isaiah 61:3 NIV).”
My soul is anchored to the love of God and I am firm and secure in God’s love (Hebrews 6:18b-19a). I have accepted God’s unconditional love for me. Now when I face rejection or difficult circumstances, I remind myself of God’s relentless love. He has loved me since the day I began to form in my mother’s womb. He has pursued me when I was not seeking to be pursued. I am in awe and wonder at the depth of God’s love for me. I have found peace and hope in God’s relentless love for me. I have found healing in God’s relentless love for me.
May you too friend find hope and healing in God’s relentless love for you! May you experience peace amidst life’s storms. May you confidently proclaim – God never abandoned you nor forsook you in your pain. May you be overwhelmed by God’s grace and mercy. May you be able to one day look back and proclaim that God showed up for you like never before in your pain – that He never felt more real! That even then amidst your darkest hours, God drew near to you, comforted you, and replaced your mourning with joy and laughter. That He alone rebuild the ruins and the places that laid in devastation (Isaiah 61:4 NIV). May Isaiah 61 be a proclamation of what God has done in your life:
1The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn, 3
and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendor.
4 They will rebuild the ancient ruins
and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities
that have been devastated for generations.
5 Strangers will shepherd your flocks;
foreigners will work your fields and vineyards.
6 And you will be called priests of the Lord,
you will be named ministers of our God.
You will feed on the wealth of nations,
and in their riches you will boast.
7 Instead of your shame
you will receive a double portion,
and instead of disgrace
you will rejoice in your inheritance.
And so you will inherit a double portion in your land,
and everlasting joy will be yours (Isaiah 61:1-7 NIV).