Life can often feel like it is a giant "to do" list; a constant sequence of tasks that we must get done. Many times our lives are judged or graded based on our performance. Work is most often like this, but it can happen at home too. If we can get everything done, go beyond our family's expectations, then they will love and appreciate us more. They will recognize all of our hard work. Many times they do notice... many times people notice our hard work. But just as many times as they do notice, they don't.
Of course then there are the times where we feel like we are failing in everything, in every area of our life. We aren't getting everything accomplished that we would like to. We are failing people's expectations. And we are our own worst critic. We beat ourselves up over it. We have to do better. We have to do more... but then you get that empty, falling feeling;
"I can't do any more."
I am sure we have all been in that place, saying those words.
Our relationship with Jesus can feel this way as well. Whenever we have prayed a good amount of time we feel like things are good. If we have been disciplined with our bible reading we feel good about our relationship. If we fasted this week, or did something for someone else, we know that Jesus is happy with us. It's as if we can feel His love towards us. Then we have days that we don't get our bible reading in, we don't get to pray, and we just feel distant from Jesus. It is in those moments that all we can do is apologize over and over to the Lord. We beat ourselves up over it. It is as if we see this image of Jesus shaking His head in disappointment. I have felt that and I have had that image in my mind.
Not to negate the importance of reading the bible, praying, fasting, or showing other people God's love, but what damages our relationship is not missing a day of prayer or a few chapters of our bible reading. The damage is done when we have this idea of Jesus; that He would distance himself from us based on our performance. Jesus never distances Himself from us. Sin has always been and will always be the wedge that is driven between God and men. If there is sin in your life you have distanced yourself from God. But God's love is not based on our performance. He is not like men, who cannot comprehend fully unconditional love, so why do we continue to compare Him to mankind's idea of love? God loves unconditionally. He loves without measure. He loves relentlessly. Here is what I want to share with you, and I pray that it changes the way you see God and the way you see yourself.
God cannot love you any more than He does right now.
Where ever you are; whether you are disappointed in yourself and in your relationship with Jesus, His love has not changed. He does not love you more when you pray for 2 hours or when you just soak in His presence 10 minutes. I am not writing this post to encourage you to back off on your spiritual disciplines of reading the Word or praying or anything else. I want you to recognize none of those things earn you more of God's love. You've already got His love. So breathe easy and know there is nothing you could do to make Him love you any more or any less. He's all yours, so be all His. He loves you.