I love you.
How do those words make you feel?
Warm? Happy? Unworthy? Full of joy? Thankful? Uncertain? Fearful? Hopeful? Fulfilled?
Over the years I’ve heard these words from people who’ve said them from the core of their being and meant them unconditionally. And I’ve heard them from others who attach a ‘catch’ onto their affection. There’s no honesty, no commitment, and no promise.
Like you, I’ve been hurt by the misuse of these words as well as healed by their sincerity.
However, today I’m not going to talk about the love between people, but the love between Jesus and us—between God and us.
A few nights ago I was feeling more weary than usual. I was feeling the pressures of keeping up while feeling far behind. I felt not just out of balance, but like I was treading water and couldn’t find a place to put my feet down to try to establish said balance. Sound familiar to anyone?
So I went upstairs to spend time with Jesus. To get refocused. Recentered. As I prayed, the dam broke. I sobbed before Him, laying out all my stress, challenges, responsibilities, desires, fears, you name it—it all flowed out. And the more I poured out, the less I felt like I was treading water. I could feel solid ground under my toes.
As I dried my eyes, I felt led to Psalm 18.
So I settled against my pillows, opened my Bible, and started to read.
But I didn’t get past the first line.
“I love you, Lord.”
My heart squeezed, and a new wave of tears flooded my eyes. I love you, Lord.
Oh, how I love my Jesus. He is my strength and my joy. He is my safe place and my song. He is my everything. But do I tell Him often enough?
I love you, Lord.
We hear so much of God’s love for us. John 3:16 is the first verse that usually comes to mind. But what about our love for Him? Do we acknowledge it? Do we tell Him?
We seek His guidance, help, strength, and encouragement. We ask Him to fill us, empower us, and bless us. We plead with Him for the health and safety of our loved ones and ourselves. We come to Him when we’re weak, broken, lost, and confused. We fall before Him when our hearts ache and we have nowhere else to go.
And that is what we’re supposed to do!
He is our source of comfort, strength, and direction. He alone possesses the wisdom, love, and joy we’re seeking. He’s the One who can put our broken pieces back together and set us on the right path. He’s the One who enables us to conquer our Promised Lands and fulfill His purpose for us.
But how often do we come before Him for no other reason than to say, I love you, Lord?
You may know your parents love you. And that your significant other and friends do, but you still need to hear it, don’t you? You still yearn for a daily reminder that you’re precious to them, that you matter, that you’re appreciated. What if you’re married and have children? Same thing. We all have a need to be told we are loved.
I’m no different. I love those moments when one of my boys gives me a random hug and says, “I love you, Mom.” Or my husband says it in a text or phone call during the day or whispers it in my ear as I cook dinner. Or when one of my besties calls, just to chat, catch up, or ask about what is going on in my life. I know they all love me—but I still need to hear it. Not because I doubt their love, not because I question their love, but because when I hear them say “I love you,” it reminds me of their love, it fills my heart with joy, and it offers comfort to my weary soul. It’s like a cozy quilt on a crisp fall day.
Why would God be any different?
I love you, Lord.
This morning I read the rest of Psalm 18. After the first line, David goes on to describe who God is and which of His attributes He has offered in his time of need. Then David goes on to boast in the Lord for all the great things He has done for Him, offering his thanksgiving and praise.
“I love you, LORD;
you are my strength. The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my savior;
my God is my rock, in whom I find protection.
He is my shield, the power that saves me,
and my place of safety. I called on the LORD, who is worthy of praise,
and he saved me from my enemies.” (Psalms 18:1-3)
But first, he voiced his love for God.
Oh, Dear One, when is the last time you Jesus you loved Him? When is the last time you told Him this from the depths of your soul? If it’s been a while, tell Him now. And then give Him the opportunity to say it back.
I love you, Lord!