She looked at my t-shirt and snorted. “Yeah, I know, ‘God loves me.’ But He’s way up in heaven and I am down here on this miserable earth. He’s too far away to care about me or do anything for me.” She walked away before I could answer, but she left me thinking about what I would have said.
I would tell her about Psalm 107. The Psalmist starts by saying, “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever” (v. 1). Then he sets up several examples: People with no place to go, wandering hungry and thirsty; but when “they cried out to the Lord, He delivered them” and brought them to a place to call home (vs. 4-9). Prisoners who were suffering for their sin and rejection of God, who cried out to the Lord, and “He brought them out of darkness and the deepest gloom and broke away their chains” (vs 10-16). People whose foolishness and rebellion brought them great affliction to the point of death, still, when they cried out to the Lord, “He sent for His Word and healed them; He rescued them from the grave (vs. 17-22).
Then there were the ones who were in grave danger in a storm at sea and “at their wits’ end” (can you relate?). You know the next line, when they cried out the Lord stilled the storm and hushed the waves and brought them safely to shore (vs. 23-32). He caused rivers and springs to appear in the desert, created a lush and fruitful land, and blessed and multiplied His people. And when they rebelled, He disciplined them. But then He “lifted the needy out of their affliction” – affliction they brought on themselves – and blessed them again (vs. 33-42).
With every situation, the Psalmist punctuates his story with the words: “Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for men” (vs. 8, 15, 21, and 31). I wish I could tell her that God’s love is not a far-flung concept, but a reality that is seen and felt in the lives of those who trust and cry out to Him. I would share the Psalmist’s last words: “consider the great love of the Lord” (v. 43), and then I would tell her about Jesus. Maybe you are the one who doubts the love and care of God. Oh, Beloved, His eye is on you and He is as near as a whispered prayer.