When You Need to Know You are Still Loved
The kingdom of God is both now and not yet. It is the mustard seed that is present, but still growing. It is yeast that has been added to the dough but still needs to do its work. It is treasure, buried in a field – certainly there but not yet visible.
Sometimes we have preached a gospel of happy endings, more ‘now’ than ‘not yet.’ The kingdom of God, we say, is about answered prayers and God’s blessing. It is in the miracle, the healing, the longing fulfilled. It is for those who are filled with faith and the emotionally strong. It is for people who have stories to tell of perseverance and provision. The kingdom of God is all about majesty and strength. It is all about victory and triumph.
But Jesus didn’t come just for life’s winners. He’s not far off, waiting at the finish line for us to get our act together and meet him when everything’s turned out right. He’s present in the ‘not yet’ moments, too. He’s there in the brokenness and the pain, the grief and the loss, the hurt and the disappointment. He comes to run right beside us, picking us up when we stumble, encouraging us all the way, never leaving our side for a moment. He loves us so much that he forfeited his own first place in the race to ensure we could make it to the finish line.
Having loved his dear companions, he continued to love them, right to the end. John 13:1
This is what you need to know: you are his dear companion, loved always and unconditionally. Even when you’re anxious and scared. Even when you’re down in the dirt. Even when you’ve screwed it all up. Even when you’re wounded. Even when all you want to do is run away. Even when you’re broken and weary and disappointed. Even when you’re sad and lonely and hurting. Even when you’re being horrible. Even then. Still loved.
You are seen and known and held by Jesus. And you always will be. Right to the very end.