Though Jesus had become my Savior, the walls barricading my heart remained. Some of them softened, but many of them were my closest allies. It’s hard, even for Jesus, to have a relationship with someone who has walls like I did. I only had so much capacity for His love. Because I didn’t believe He really loved me unless I worked hard and somehow measured up to His standards, I held Him at arm’s length.
But Jesus was patient. As I described in Chapter 1, eventually Jesus broke through those walls, and for the first time, I was able to experience the love God had always had for me. When I came to the end of my own strength, I discovered that my Father’s arms had been surrounding me all along. I just did not know He was there. I did not know what His love was like or how to allow myself to receive it.
I had no idea that God is, as Paul puts it, “the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort” (2 Cor. 1:3) and could heal my broken places. When I discovered His healing love, I realized that in every circumstance of my life, the compassionate and comforting Father desires to come alongside me and listen, encourage, console, reassure, calm, strengthen, and counsel me.
He wants to share Himself with me, no matter what’s going on in my life. In fact, this is one of the main things the Father does for us. It’s His specialty. The Old Testament prophet Zephaniah described this aspect of the Father like this:
The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing (Zephaniah 3:17).
This is exactly what He did for me. He gathered me up like a broken little child and held me closely, breaking through to the core of my being with His love, compassion, and mercy. He gladly filled me with the power of His love and the Spirit.
Over the course of several intense years, He mended the broken places in my heart, quieted me with His love, enabled me to hear His songs of deliverance, and celebrated with me every step of the way. He also brought people into my life who had also received His compassion, comfort, and healing, and they walked alongside me. They were a safe place, and they patiently pointed me to God for help in working through the baggage.
This is an excerpt from my new book Loved Like Jesus.
I wrote it because I want you to experience the deep love that your heavenly Father has for you. Living from this reality as a much loved son or daughter, you can rest in a confident connection with Him and experience abundant living and lasting freedom.
Order my book today for yourself and an extra copy for a friend, your pastor and/or your small group.