Bob Goff tells a funny story about his marriage in the book, Everybody, Always. He says that he and his “sweet wife, Maria” agreed a long time ago that if she ever decides to leave him, she has to take him with her.
That is both hilarious and beautiful.
We all know how challenging relationships can be. Just about all of us have felt like walking away from someone that we love at one time or another. When desperation closes in on us, it is tempting to fantasize about packing up and leaving.
Some have even gotten to this place of disenchantment in their relationship with God. Maybe you have noticed the recent phenomenon of several large-platform believers announcing that they are believers no longer. After years of leading and teaching others in the Christian faith, they are opting out. Pointing to various issues they have with God and the faith they once held, they are calling it quits.
What’s up with that?
Since we don’t know the whole story with these folks as God does, it’s probably best not to rush to judgment. Their public “de-confessions” are heartbreaking, not to mention frustrating, but they also present an excellent opportunity for us to think about how we can grow in our faith even when we live in a cultural environment that is so antagonistic to it. After all, it can be done. For every one believer that says they are checking out, there are hundreds and thousands that are holding fast.
Here’s something else to think about…Is the love of God deep and strong enough to withstand the fluctuations of our faith? Would He still be faithful to me even if I should succumb to doubt and recklessly say I don’t believe in Him anymore? Is God’s love that extreme?
As best as I can tell, the Bible teaches clearly that once you have given Jesus invitation into your life, He comes and He comes to stay. Here are just a couple of references among many:
“…for he [God] has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’” -Hebrews 13:5
“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” -Romans 8:38-39
The relationship that began the moment you put your trust in Jesus Christ is unbreakable. By the Spirit, a union was formed that cannot be ruptured (Ephesians 1:13, Ephesians 4:30). Sure, you may be up and down and all over the place, but He will be the same through all of it. He will be as loyal to you on day 10,343 of your relationship as He was to you on day 1. The love demonstrated on the Cross is never subject to change. That’s why it’s called amazing love.
God did not say “I will never leave you or forsake you…as long as you don’t leave or forsake me.” No, what God says is more like what Bob Goff told his sweet wife, Maria: “If you leave me, you will have to take me with you.”
It’s a new day with God. Run with it.
You may be up and down and all over the place, but He will be the same…