Andy Denen

Ideas on life, church, and culture.

You Are Not Alone

Matthew 11:14 says, “Whoever has ears, let them hear.”

6 simple words. But if we can tuck the principle into our hearts it can radically change the way we see situations, deal with stress, resolve conflict, and simply live our lives.

The other day I took my son Ethan to get his haircut. If you’ve read any of my other posts you know he’s almost 4 and he’s just the best. He’s funny, cute, energetic, and so smart. One thing he does not like though, is a haircut. All the way to the salon he was like, “No get the haircut daddy!” I kept telling him that he did it last time and he liked it. We watched Inside Out and he sat in the cool chair, he did fine. But he didn’t remember. All he knew was that he didn’t want to do it again.

We get to the shop and no matter how much I explained to him that he had done it before and was just fine, it didn’t calm his nerves. Once he get in the chair though, the movie came on, and the process started and he realized it was painless and could be fun, he did just fine.

My explanations didn’t work. Why? Because he’s 4. He didn’t comprehend my reasoning. It didn’t make sense to him. In his little mind he was probably getting frustrated that I didn’t seem to understand what he was trying to say. But I did understand, and I knew he wasn’t seeing the full picture. I understood him and knew his reasoning was faulty.

I think that happens a lot between us and God. I think we try to get to him to understand why we deserve a certain thing or why we don’t want to, or shouldn’t have to, do something. But the whole time he is whispering words of encouragement, affirmation, hope, and trust into our hearts. We just don’t comprehend them yet. We don’t understand them because we haven’t yet experienced what he already knows. That it’s going to be ok.

Nothing you’re going through surprises God. Nothing you are experiencing is beyond his scope of understanding. He gets it. He gets you. You’re not a mystery to him.

Even more than that, he gets you and all your secrets and the hidden parts of your heart and he loves you just the same. Read the following words carefully, really pay attention:

And I’m convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow – not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below – indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

-Romans 8:38-38, NLT (emphasis mine)

 

I love that it says, “indeed” towards to the end. It’s like the author was reiterating the point. “I’ve said it, but I want to make sure I’m clear… INDEED, nothing can separate us from God’s love.”

We all have doubts, we all have fears, we all struggle. Some with thoughts about the future, others with fears of what’s happen to us or around us right now. Still others worry they’re not good enough because of their past. We all have something we are walking through.

But let those words resonate with you today. Nothing can separate you from the love of God. Nothing. Not a thing. You are loved. You are cherished. You are precious.

Not because of what you do. But simply because of who you are.

In Matthew Jesus was saying that if we have ears we should hear, we should pay attention. We should engage. We should do something about what he is telling us is true.

When Ethan and I were leaving the salon, as I was paying and he was licking the dum dum lollipop the hairstylist had given him he peaked his little red head up over the counter. Standing on his tiptoes he pointed the fun chair he got to sit in by the TV and said,

“Wook daddy!” (He still has trouble with his “L” sounds and it’s adorable) “Wook daddy, the chair, that was fun!”

What was at one time scary was now fun. Because his perspective was changed through experience.

Trust Jesus. He’s got you. You are not alone.

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