Would you believe me if I said the world was obsessed with love?
Just by looking at the news or at your Facebook feed, you might not think so. But let’s take a closer look.
Did you know that Hallmark has made nearly 300 romantic movies in the last 10 years? Maybe those movies aren’t your thing.
But nearly every movie, TV show, book, and story has love wrapped up in the plot. There’s a lover to win, a child to save, or an obstacle the protagonist must overcome for someone they love.
Magazines and websites can’t stop talking about it. And there’s got to be hundreds of dating apps.
We love “love.” Our obsession with love, however, has an unfortunate consequence: We can’t get enough of it.
Not because it isn’t there. Love isn’t absent from our world.
I think we just forget sometimes what true love looks like.
Many of us spend our lives searching for love in things that can never fully satisfy us.
For me, that’s approval. I want to be accepted by others, but I often place my value (wrongly so) in what people think of me.
Others place their worth in a romantic relationship, or in family, friendship, and finances.
Those are wonderful gifts from God. Yet, none of them will satisfy us completely.
Not even our spouse or our kids can fill the emptiness in our souls.
Because we each have a desire for a perfect love that imperfect people simply cannot achieve.
But there is a perfect love that can mend every broken heart; a Lover who can satisfy our every need.
In the midst of a million love stories, I’d like to share with you the most important one.
You see, God formed us from the dust of His creation and breathed life into us. We dwelled in the presence of God every moment; we were children, safe in the arms of our Father. We lived in intimacy with Him, and in perfect community with each other.
But something happened. Sin enticed us.
We left our loving Father and chose to go our own way. Divorcing our Lover, we invited sin to dwell with us instead. Sin promised us love and joy, but it could only offer us fleeting pleasure and permanent pain.
But we had made our choice. Our intimacy with God was gone. Sin corrupted every piece of our hearts. No matter how many good or bad things we do, we are all marked by impurity. As loving as God is, He is also Just. He cannot dwell with an unrighteous people.
So why do we search for love in things that cannot satisfy us?
It’s because we yearn for God’s perfect love and intimacy that we left behind.
Marriages were never intended to fall apart.
Parents weren’t designed to be physically and emotionally abusive.
Our loved ones weren’t supposed to be taken away by sickness and death.
You’ve been hurt. I’ve been hurt. We’ve hurt others, too.
We each carry the scars from pursuing a counterfeit love.
But God was not content to let our story end that way.
Though we were unfaithful, filthy, and dead in our sins, God still loved us. He knew that on our own, we could never earn back our righteousness. He knew we owed a debt to sin that forced us to give up eternal life.
So God “became flesh” and dwelt among us as Jesus. He healed the sick and the broken-hearted.
He lived a sinless life and gave Himself up to die a cruel death.
True love is costly.
Jesus’ death was not easy. The eternal and sinless King was humiliated by the people he was trying to save. He experienced the punishment for our betrayal.
But in His death, He took away the debt of our sins.
And in doing so, He provided a way for us to have intimacy with Him again.
He did it for you. He did it for me. He did it for all of us who are unworthy of His grace and mercy.
We don’t have to chase after a counterfeit love anymore. There is a real hope; a tangible love that can free us and fulfill us.
We might still bear the scars of our pains, but our God is a healer.
He woos us like a lover, and he holds us like a Father. He satisfies every longing of our soul.
No matter what circumstances you face, nothing can separate us from God’s love.
And you can take hold of that love right now.
That is your story.