But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him. (THE MESSAGE)
If we wish to avoid pain in our lives, we need to avoid love. To love anyone is to be vulnerable. To give your heart to someone or something is to risk having your heart broken. This is so because whatever and whoever we love is liable to disappoint us. Even our love for God can be coloured by our sense of being let down by him.
Of course this is not a constant experience. Love brings delights as well as disappointments. Others bless us as well as burden us. It is just that we need to be clear that true love involves openness to hurt as well as hope, to pain as well as pleasure. Any parent of any child realises that in time.
If we plan to keep ourselves safe from such pain we can only do so by retreating into a hard shell, locking our hearts away where no-one can break them. Problem with that is we embrace an impenetrable loneliness and a suffocating selfishness. C. S. Lewis points out that the only place outside of heaven where we can be safe from the pains of love is hell.
God’s love for us involved pain. He didn’t stay safe in heaven but opened himself up to the hurt of rejection and suffering. He thought we were worth it. He still does.
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