When was the moment you first realized how much God loves you? Not when you knew it. Rather when you really believed it down deep within your soul?
I thought I knew God loved me. Then I met Miriam. And she taught me that I hadn’t yet realized God’s transformative love at all.
Miriam lived in a Middle Eastern city filled with radical Islamic ideology. I went there a “good Christian girl” full of grandiose ideas about sharing Jesus. Then a harrowing experience left me alone and surrounded by a sea of veiled women, men in robes, and mosques bellowing out the Islamic call to prayer. I felt only fear. Overwhelming, terrifying fear. And there was no way I felt like loving the people around me.
Yet Miriam wasn’t fearful. She radiated joy. How could it be?
Her peace and sure strong belief in God’s love for her magnified my own stark terror and unbelief. It was a defining moment in my faith-journey.
Miriam had seen the worst in people: honor killings, rapes, beatings, beheadings. And yet she was not anxious or afraid. She knew in the deepest parts of her soul that “God so loved the world, that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” (See John 3:16 ESV). She knew God loves her. This gave her great peace. She knew God’s transformative love so deeply and had a prayer relationship with Him that was so intimate; she was compelled to share his love with others, despite persecution or possible death.
Miriam lived as though Jesus was worth it all. She wasn’t looking for a sense of acceptance and purpose from the world. Rather, God’s love in her was transforming the world around her.
She was a catalyst who forever changed what I thought about God’s love for me. I wanted to know God loved me, the way that she knew God loved her. That kind of love transforms pandemics, depression, anxiety, racial and political strife. That irresistible kind of love transforms the world.
Just like God used Miriam to challenge what I believed about his love, I hope God will use you to start a conversation about God’s love with your friends. Start by sharing your story of God’s transforming love in you. Then ask, “When was the first moment you realized how much God loves you? Not when you knew it. Rather when you really believed it down deep within your soul?”
“I have loved you just as the Father has loved Me:
remain in My love (and do not doubt My love for you.)”
Jesus in John 15:9 AMP