Relentless - unyielding, ceaseless, unbending...fierce and unstoppable...never gives up. Not soft and so tender as we picture it sometimes...God's love is relentless. He pursues us with a love that is as strong and sure and final as death. It's hard for our finite minds to even fathom a love like that. We want to put everything in a box and contain but His love can't be contained. Have you ever thought of it that way? His love is so big and so furious it envelops us and never lets go.
I spent some time with a friend who was completely broken by her own failure. She said she had disappointed God. Shame and guilt became her mainstay as she began to think that He would give up on her. As I've done so many times before, she couldn't see how He could love her in her fallenness. But this--this relentless love--is something I can stand up for without batting an eye. "Jesus loves me--this I know"--Not just a kiddie song...This I know. I really KNOW this love and, even in the desperateness of this very moment, it still takes my breath away just as it did when I realized how ferocious it was for the very first time. In her shame, she can't see the vastness of grace, and it breaks my heart but truth calls me to take a stand. No backing up or backing down. When another just can't see how measureless and how strong His love is--these are times that my own passion rises up to fight, not in defense of Him but in pursuit WITH Him. I know that His love reaches into the darkest and most wretched places to find us. Because that's just what He does--He relentlessly pursues us just for the LOVE of us.
God's love isn't dependent on our actions. It can't be measured on the world's scale. We run from Him, we fall down, we hide. The world may give up on us, but He still loves us. Shame and guilt overcomes us so when we come face to face with the love of God, we scream, "NOOOOOOOO!" because we don't deserve a love like His....Yet still He loves us. He always has; He always will. From the beginning of time to the ends of eternity, He loves us. Even if we never return His love, He STILL loves us. No matter what we've done or how miserably we have failed, He loves us as much today as He did the day before we failed. His love truly does lift us up where we belong. No matter how far we run from Him or where we try to hide, He will still love us just as much as He did the day He sent His Son to die for the sake of us.
It never ceases to amaze me when I think of His endless pursuit of us. How does He keep on day after day when I screw up again and again? Why doesn't He ever give up? Yet He loves me--He loves you--simply because He IS love. Even in trying to convey the relentlessness of His love in my friend's brokenness, I was once again bowled over in remembrance of how long and how far He pursued me--how He STILL pursues me. That furious passionate pursuit has been my saving grace. If He loves me that much, how can I not love Him back? His love for me isn't determined in the least by my successes or failures, but my life, however lived, is an expression of my love for Him (or lack of). Even so, my love for Him is but a drop compared to His love for me. No one else could ever love me like He does. So wide, so far, so high, so deep...and yet I still try to escape it sometimes until I wonder why am I running? So all I can do is just to STOP, to quit seeking for whatever I can't find so that I can be found by Him. And as He runs toward me in passionate pursuit, I open myself up to be caught. How great is the love He has lavished on us...