He Loves Me!
This devotional is a series of excerpts from Wayne Jacobsen's life changing book, He Loves Me! Download a PDF of this book by clicking the link below.
Day 1: Daisy Petals
He loves me.
He loves me not.
He loves me.
He loves me not.
The little girl stands in the backyard chanting as she plucks petals one by one from the daisy and drops them to the ground. At game’s end, the last petal tells all; whether or not the person desired returns the affection. Of course no one takes it seriously, and if children don’t get the answer they desire they take another daisy and start again. It doesn’t take long even for children to realize that flowers weren’t designed to tell romantic fortunes. Why should they link their hearts’ desires to the fickleness of chance? Why indeed! But it is a lesson far easier learned in romance than in more spiritual pursuits. For long after we’ve put away our daisies, many of us continue to play the game with God.
This time we don’t pluck flower petals, but probe through our circumstances trying to figure out exactly how God feels about us.
I got a raise. He loves me.
I didn’t get the promotion I wanted, or I lost my job. He loves me not!
Something in the Bible inspired me today. He loves me!
My child is seriously ill. He loves me not!
I gave money to someone in need. He loves me!
I let my anger get the best of me. He loves me not!
Something for which I prayed actually happened. He loves me!
I stretched the truth to get myself out of a tight spot. He loves me not!
A friend calls me unexpectedly to encourage me. He loves me!
My car needs a new transmission. He loves me not!
I have played that game most of my life, trying to sort out in any given moment how God might feel about me personally. I grew up learning that he is a God of love, and for the most part I believed it to be true. In good times, nothing is easier to believe. In days when my family was healthy and our relationships a joy; when my ministry thrived and both income and opportunity were increasing; when we had plenty of time to enjoy our friends and were not burdened down with need; who wouldn’t be certain of God’s love? But that certainty eroded when those times of bliss were interrupted with more troublesome events.
Then I wondered how God really felt about me. I couldn’t understand how a God who loved me would either allow such things into my life or wouldn’t fix them immediately so that I or people I loved wouldn’t have to endure such pain.
He loves me not! Or so I thought on those days. My disappointment at God could easily turn two directions. Often in my pain and frustration, when I felt like I had done enough to deserve better, I would rail at God like the Job of old, accusing him of either being unfair or unloving. In more honest moments, however, I was well aware of the temptations and failures that could exclude me from his care. I would come out of those times committed to trying harder to live the life I thought would merit his love.
I lived for 34 years as a believer on this perilous tightrope. Even when there was no crisis hanging over my head, I was always wary of the next one God might drop on me at any second if I couldn’t stay on his good side. In some ways I had become like the schizophrenic child of an abusive father, never certain what God I’d meet on any given day—the one who wanted to scoop me up in his arms with laughter, or the one who would ignore me or punish me for reasons I could never understand.
Only in the last five years have I discovered that my methods of discerning God’s love were as flawed as pulling petals from a daisy. I haven’t been the same since.