DOES GOD LOVE ME?
By: Christina Levasheff, Judson’s Mom
We had to powerlessly watched our son suffer a heinous disease; he was afflicted with great pain, lost every ability he once had, experienced significant frustration, and then our sweet little boy, the boy we love with every ounce of our beings, died in our arms.
Admittedly, I’ve questioned God’s love. How could a God of love allow such suffering for my precious child?! And if this is how he chooses to love, do I want to trust him? There’s little about Judson’s pain and death that’s felt loving, and when my pain is especially acute, these questions arise fiercely within me.
So how do I reconcile my feelings and experience with the fact that God says he does, indeed, love me?
I don’t fully understand God’s love and won’t pretend to, but if I look at God through the life of Jesus, I see a beautiful picture of love in the midst of brokenness. Jesus not only understood pain and showed amazing compassion in the midst of every human affliction he encountered, but he actually chose to endure heinous suffering for our sake. In Jesus, God’s love for us is revealed (John 17:26).
The pain we experience in this world, the pain my son experienced and even the pain Jesus experienced, is a result of living in a broken world—a world wrecked by evil (sin). God has allowed suffering, but God himself is love (1 John 4:8). And it’s more than just a feeling of love toward us…God is love. It’s the essence of who he is; just as I am a human and can’t be anything other than human—God is love. God cannot be anything other than love. It’s the fundamental nature of who he is. In fact, God is the author of every experience of love known to us.
Furthermore, for those who know and love Jesus, God has promised much. He loves his children with an everlasting love. (Jeremiah 31:3). We are his most treasured possession. (Exodus 19:5). He is our Father and his love for us matches his love for his son Jesus (John 17:23). Yet he allowed Jesus’ suffering and death as an ultimate expression of his love for us…you and me (1 John 4:10). And nothing, absolutely nothing can separate us from that love (Romans 8:38-39).
Many times when Judson was sick—his body completely broken—unable to move, speak, or see—I saw Drake enfold Juddy into his arms, hold him close and serenade him…gently, calmly singing his love over his son. It was a stunning picture of a father’s love for his suffering child. One of the songs Drake would sing also beautifully expresses our heavenly Father’s love for us.
The Lord your God is with you.
He is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you.
He will quiet you with his love.
He will rejoice over you with singing. (Zephaniah 3:17)
Just as Drake would sing his love over his son, God sweetly sings his love over his children.
Yet, I acknowledge that reading about God’s love can feel impotent apart from intimately knowing the experience of his love. So I have been learning to ask God to help me recognize when he is holding me close in his arms, just as Drake held Jud, singing over me in the midst of my heartache.
I trust he wants to quiet your hurting heart with his love too.