There is perhaps no more driving desperation than that of a woman to be loved.
And, yet, this longing of ours - to be loved unconditionally and sacrificially for who we are -- has driven us to downright desperate behavior, throughout history.
We're told in Scripture of a woman who was desperate for love. She had one man after another in her life. She had married so many times that she probably thought "why get married at all?"and had decided to just live with - but not marry - her most recent boyfriend. Maybe that way he wouldn't feel obligated to her and he'd stay around longer. But having him in her life still wasn't enough for her. And she found herself alone, and still thirsting for more.
That's when she met Jesus who addressed her thirst in life and told her:
Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life. John 4:13-14
Jesus was telling her that everyone who seeks satisfaction from a temporary well in this world will remain unsatisfied…they'll constantly come up dry. In other words, every woman who went where she was going to find her fulfillment, would remain unsatisfied. But when they drink of the water He has to offer….they will live eternally and experience true fulfillment.
Like the Samaritan woman, we too can be desperate for a man. Perhaps, at times, we want any man, as long as we have someone in our life. I know many women who feel it is better to be with someone who makes them miserable than to be alone. Oh the desperation we have for what we believe is "love."
As women, we have been known to resort to foolish, even crazy, behavior out of a desperation for love: becoming pregnant to try to "keep" a relationship, tattooing our bodies with a boyfriend's name to show him how "committed" we are, enduring secret physical or emotional pain so we can hold onto someone, having one meltdown after another because our needs aren't being met or we don't feel loved. We even search out father figures in men and boyfriends, looking for the love we never felt from our own father. But why are we never that desperate for God's love?
God is One who loves you more desperately than anyone ever could. And He did some pretty radical things to show it.
"See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands…" God says in Isaiah 49:16. God has tattooed us on His palms! That is desperate.
"… I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her" (Hosea 2:14). He strategizes to get us back. That is desperate.
He counts the number of hairs on our heads (Matthew 10:30), records our days in a book (Psalm 139:16), and saves our tears in a bottle (Psalm 56:8). Now that is desperate…almost obsessive!
If we took a good long look at what love really is, we'd recognize that it's right in front of us - and we wouldn't be so easily seduced by the substitutes.
God's Love is Eternal
Unlike anyone on this earth, God has always known you. And He has always loved you. In the Bible, God tells us, through the Prophet Jeremiah:
I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving kindness. Jeremiah 31:3
An everlasting love. That means there was no beginning to it and there's no end to it, either. It always was. It always will be. That is endless love.
God's Love is Enduring
Over the past several months, several women I know have had husbands walk out on them.
They were left explaining to others what happened to their "love":
He decided, after 30 years of marriage, that he just doesn't want to be married anymore.
He told me he never really loved me, but was just going through the motions.
My husband told me he's had secrets that he can no longer live with so he wants to make a â fresh start' without me.
Tragically, it happens. We get burned with a selfish example of what someone thinks is "love" or "a loss of love." But just because one who professed to love you fails miserably, doesn't mean that God's love is any less sincere. God's everlasting love waits to pick you up, bind your wounds, and place you on a path of life again…a redeemed, restored life in which you begin to experience what true love really is:
"…For your Maker is your husband - the Lord Almighty is his name - the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth. The LORD will call you back as if you were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit - a wife who married young, only to be rejected," says your God" (Isaiah 54:5-6).
God spoke those words through the Prophet Isaiah, to His people, Israel, who had continued to turn their back on Him. Yet God kept coming back for them, as a lovesick husband seeking the return of his wife. In many ways, you and I are like the unfaithful nation Israel was, when it comes to seeking love and fulfillment outside of the realm of God's love. We search for love, and we think we must have a man to complete us, and yet God stands waiting to be our Faithful Husband if we would just look to Him first to meet our needs.
God's love is eternal and enduring. Can any love on this earth compare? Not a chance.
Could the realization that the Living God of this Universe loves you passionately make you want to grab hold of that love and live differently? Could it make you desperate, not for the love of someone else, but to love Him in return?
If we became desperate for God with the same kind of passion with which He is desperate for us, we would experience the kind of love that liberates, not suffocates. And as we begin to love Him, over anyone else, He will develop in us a desperation for His love…and we will know what it means to be on the edge for Him and not for anyone else.
Cindi McMenamin is a national speaker and the author of several books including When Women Walk Alone (more than 100,000 copies sold), Letting God Meet Your Emotional Needs, and Women on the Edge. For more on her speaking ministry, books or free resources to help you find strength for your soul, see www.StrengthForTheSoul.com.
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