Do you ever feel like obstacle after obstacle arises when you are trying to accomplish a goal? Maybe your goal is something as big as landing a new job or as “small” as getting dinner on the table before 9 p.m., but for whatever reason, life seems to be working against you. We’ve all been there.
Obstacles, however, are so beautifully incapable of thwarting God’s love towards us. His love is relentless, sure, steady, and constant. I was reminded of this truth as I read through the following passage in a Bible study last week. Romans 8:
31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written,
“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
I read these sacred words at my mother’s funeral six years ago. Before her passing, at a time she was fighting so many battles of her own, God had seared these words in my heart. Despite my emotions being rocked and spent, I wanted to be the one to verbally read these words as we celebrated her life.
This passage promises that not even death can separate us from His great love. Not even grief over the loss of others can separate us from His love. Neither height of joy nor depth of despair can separate us from His love. At that time in my life, I felt like grief would swallow me whole, darkening any brightness of this truth.
Though I have never known famine or nakedness or sword, so many of the world currently lives in that state. As I write, I cannot help but think of the many people who are suffering from the terrible act of violence last week in Las Vegas. God’s love can seem so far. So absent. So overcome by evil.
Even though it is mostly the scary, unknown things of life that seem to keep us from His love, on some days, the daily grind or the crazy chaos of being pulled 1000 directions make Him feel just as distant.
The world can be a dark place most days, and a promising Bible passage can seem like a trite response or a tiny bandaid for a gaping wound.
I know in the darkest moments of my life, I clung to the words of Romans 8. When I felt the most separated from His love, His Spirit spoke to mine through these truths.
You may feel far. You may feel hopeless. You may face obstacles, perhaps ones you have built yourself, lying between you and the Father. Regardless of how you feel, you can rest in the fact that He is leaping over those obstacles, breaking them down, chasing you with His love. He will find you right where you are, even if you feel you cannot take another step towards Him.
May that hope of relentless, overcoming love spark hope in your heart today, even in the midst of sorrow, grief, or despair.
Take heart. Nothing can separate you from His love.