The Heart of God
by Jeffrey Snell
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The sun is always shining. Whether we can see it or not, it still burns the same, giving heat and light, steady, constant. Even in the middle of an onslaught by steely, dark gray clouds, icy thunder, lightning and drenching rain or pummeling hail, the sun is untouched. Though we don’t see the circle in the sky, don’t feel the warmth on our faces, we know it’s there. Tornadoes, earthquakes, hurricanes do not deter it. Crimes, accidents, illness, even wars do not diminish its energy.
God is not like the sun. He is certainly steadfast and impervious to the storms of life, but the similarity ends there, for He has a heart. He cares whether we know Him, whether we are listening to His voice. He shelters us from the worst assaults of human life and incursions of His enemy, even while allowing other pain to touch us, using it to wash our wounds of this sinful world’s influence. He feels our suffering deeply, embracing and weeping with us. The atrocious acts of sin working through mankind break His heart and stir His holiness to action.
The Lord of Truth is the Lord of Redemption: always reaching to the human heart; always knocking; always offering rescue and healing. He is the One who made everything we can see and everything we can not, and He would vanquish it all if it meant turning our hearts back to Him! But it wouldn’t work. There was ever only one work to save us, and He dove into it fervently without hesitation. Never has there been so intimate a solution, so costly an exchange, yet He deemed the price worthy.
So a third of Him, the Son of the trinity, embraced the full measure required and became man. He entered the world, opening Himself to become sick, be hurt, feel hungry, and witness the flesh’s depravity from a new perspective. He exposed Himself to temptation – all temptation, taking on the juggernaut of sin. And He opened His perfect heart to our tongues, the venom of our flesh piercing His, spitting on His love in our terror.
Though Jesus’ death on the cross provided my redemption, His suffering prior to death is what resonates with my heart, because He suffered in my place. I think of my children. What would it feel like, seeing them trapped in their despair, as if wading through a thickening, inescapable sludge? How would I respond when they rejected my pleading to rescue them, even refusing to listen? Would my heart survive if they spewed ignorant hatred toward me? What would take place in my soul if they chose agony, torture, even death over taking my hand? I often wonder if I would survive it.
But that’s the heart of God. Jesus didn’t ignore the taunts, the venomous accusations, the beatings – they hurt Him to the core, even more than I imagine – He absorbed them with His grace. His love is so pure that, like striking the air, the flailing attacks by those who feared Him did nothing to weaken it. Despite our rejection and lashing out, our failures, our foolishness, He reaches for us anyway.
Praise His holy name.
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” – Jn. 1:14
"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." - Rom. 8:38-39
Scripture Taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION
Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society.
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