I have recently picked up Erwin McManus’ book, Soul Craving. While reading through several of it’s entries, one entitled, Chased by Love (Please Don’t Run Too Fast) particularly stood out to me. In his entry, McManus beautifully depicts a love story while speaking to a group of Muslims in the Middle East on the topic of the History of Christianity. During this time, McManus is asked to answer the following question:
“Why was it necessary for God to become human? ”
This is how he answers:
“I once met a girl named Kim, and I fell in love.”
I continued, “I pursued her with my love and pursued her with my love until I felt my love had captured her heart. So I asked her to be my wife, and she said no.” I could feel their empathy, if not their pity.
“I was unrelenting and asked her again, pursuing her with my love, and I pursued her with my love until she said yes.”
There was a huge sigh of relief throughout the entire room.
I went on, “I did not send my brother, nor did I send a friend. For in issues of love, you must go yourself.”
“This is the story of God: he pursues you with his love and pursues you with his love, and you have perhaps not said yes. And even if you reject his love, he pursues you ever still. It was not enough to send an angel, or a prophet or any other, for in issues of love, you must go yourself. And so God has come.”
“This is the story of Jesus, that God has walked among us and he pursues us with his love. He is very familar with rejection but is undeterred. And he is here even now, still pursuing you with his love…”
There is only one reason for God to come himself, because in issues of love, you just can’t have someone else stand in for you.
When it comes to love, it has to be face-to-face. There has to be contact. Love cannot exsist where there is only distance. Love can survive distance, but only by the strength of what comes through intimacy.
Like Solomon’s lover, God is going up and down the streets of the city, traveling the most obsecure pathsand untamed roads in the most desolate of places, searching for the one he loves- and that one is you and me and every human being that has ever walked on this earth, has taken a breath, and has longed for love.
Religion exsists not because God loves too little, but because we need love so much. In the end, all relgions misrepresent God. They either dictate requirements for love or simply become a requiem for love. I think many of us have rightly given up on God on this basis alone. We’ve been told that God is a reluctant lover and that his standards must be met before there can be any talk of love. This is lunacy. Love exists because God is love. Our souls will never find satisfaction until our hearts have found this love that we so desperately yearn for.
God is not passive, for love is never passive, but always passionate; and passion always leads to action.
Many times, I gloss over and devalue the extravegant love that God has for me. I forget that I my relationship with God is a love story. I forget I am being pursued. This story is an excellent example of the Heart of God. God is love. I was created to know God. I crave Love, I yearn to be pursued. God knew, and sent His son to do just that. God’s love is too deep to settle for a stand in, so He came Himself. My value, my self worth, my identity is all found and fulfilled when I choose to acknowldge, accept, and reciprocate the agape love of God.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16