“For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord!” ~ Psalm 117:2
I grew up in West Virginia. I have lived in Oklahoma for 16 years. It did not occur to me until the second drought that Oklahoma experienced since I have lived here, which ended in the last year or so, that I love the rain. During the drought, I prayed for rain, I begged for rain, I pleaded for rain. Sometimes when it rained, I felt loved by God because he had answered my prayer, but I was not secure in that love. After all, God may not answer my prayer for rain the next time I prayed. That is exactly what happened. I prayed. No rain. I prayed more. No rain. I pleaded. No rain. My internal attitude became so resentful that I decided since I could not pray for rain with a good attitude, I wouldn’t pray for rain at all.
It was during this time period that I began to realize I was confusing God’s love with God’s gifts. When He answered my prayers for rain I felt loved; when He didn’t answer my prayers for rain I felt unloved. Many verses in the Bible speak of God’s great love toward us who believe. The verse above reminds me that God loves me. Period. His love toward me is not more when He answers my prayers the way I want or less when He does not.
I have since practiced realizing and feeling God’s love toward me in any and all circumstances. I still don’t pray for rain, but thank Him profusely when He provides.
Thank you, Lord, for your great love for your people. Thank you for your patience with us while we learn. Thank you for teaching us in small increments that we are able to handle. In Jesus’ name, Amen.