I had an interesting thought last weekend as I was walking around the beautiful campus at Hanover College in Indiana. Have you ever been in a relationship with someone and truly wanted that person? Not in a perverted or sexual way, but in a way such that you desire every part of them. You want to have their attention; their thought space; their love; their laughter. Every fiber of you wants every fiber of them. Maybe that's creepy or obsessive, but I think when you truly love someone, it is an accurate description of what you are feeling. Let me interject here and make it clear that I am not a relationship expert. In fact I am a relationship saboteur. I have dated far too many girls, made a lot of mistakes, and ruined some great friendships, but I have been in love once. I don't want to delve into what I believe love is; suffice it to say that she was a friend who's bond to myself could only have been formed through years of shared experiences. But I digress, that was how I felt about her.
For whatever reason, that idea was bouncing around in my head as I walked. I had a lot on my mind, and I was in an incredibly quiet, contemplative mood. Out of nowhere I had a heavy thought: what if God wants us with an equal desire as I just described. What if he truly, deeply yearns for every part of us. Often in relationships desire can be masked by surface-level emotions. Sometimes I can want someone so bad that it induces anger or sadness or frustration. Those emotions are not a summation of how I feel about this person, rather they are byproducts of my desire and the obstacles that stand between us. That was unclear, so let me try again with a story. Say you really like a girl name Jane. She is everything you want, but she is sending you mixed messages. You want so badly to be the only guy that she's thinking about, and sometimes it upsets you. Other times it makes you mad because she tampers with your emotions. But, underlying all of these emotions is desire; the desire for her to be yours, and it drives you through all of these emotions.
I think the same can be said of God. He is a jealous creator. He wants us so desperately that he can resort to extreme means to garner our attention. I wondered, as I walked, if we mistreat God in the same way that we mistreat each other in relationships; sending mixed signals. Being flippant with our emotions. How frustrating must that be for God? It drives me crazy when people are unable to make clear decisions. I know that not everyone is driven by the desire to be cut and dry with their whole lives, but decisiveness is needed in some cases, and I think God is screaming loud that he wants our attention. Wants us to make up our minds and stop second guess our every decision.
As I continued to let this thought simmer in my mind, it developed a bit further. In my own experiences, I've found that unrealistic expectations are often to blame for failed relationships; guys or girls that expect far too much from their significant other. When, however, a relationship advances to the point where you truly want someone, these expectations begin to fade. You don't so much care if they're perfect or if they've made mistakes. The negative becomes less important and is masked by your infatuation with the positive. Again I think the principle parallels with how God sees us. He doesn't focus on the reasons that we've run from him or the times that we've stumbled. His eyes are set on our potential to love and be loved by him.
I've yet to find a lasting, true love in human relationship in this life. Perhaps I will or perhaps I won't, but I've placed that secondary to finding a true love in a God who is infatuated with the future; not the past. People will always fail; always change, but there is a God and a love that are the only true constants we have in life. And they are free. God wants each and every one of us. He gave up his son so that ALL people would have the opportunity to have true life. ALL people.
"...God our Saviour, who wants all men to be saved..." (1 Timothy 2:3-4)
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