“If you promise never to leave, you just might make me believe.” — Sugarland, “Just Might”

Deuteronomy 30:15-20
Jeremiah 7:21-28
Jeremiah 11:1-13
Hosea 14:1-9

One of our primary desires is our desire to be right. If others don’t believe us, we’ll try to prove them wrong, hopelessly.

Few desires trump this one, this need to prove what we believe to be true. We must have others believe us. And the closer they are to our heart, the more dire the need.

A friend worked with children at a church. He always wanted to help others, and he gave away much of his time to do so. After some involvement with the first-graders, he found out one child had accused him of inappropriate touching.

Although the boy eventually admitted concocting the story for attention, my friend had to take a polygraph, speak with elders of the church, provide character references, and speak with police and attorneys. He couldn’t brush aside the defeating frustration and mental paralysis he experienced as a result. Why would someone believe this about him? Why would someone think that he had foul intentions?  He knew the truth about himself and his actions. To prove it, he’d go to any length. 

From the beginning, God said, “Believe me.  I care for you, and want the best for you. Look around at all I’ve given out of my love for you. Trees for shade, water for swimming, plants for tending, animals for farms and pets, and resources for transportation. Believe me.”

Like a man smitten, God sends these love letters to woo us who struggle to believe.

Since the beginning of time, God has struggled with people who won’t believe what he’s saying, what he knows to be true.  Certainly, it’s been maddening, painful and frustrating.

We’ve not walked with the Lord in the cool of the evening since we departed Eden. His question after the Fall was, “Where are you?” He wanted us with him. But we couldn’t be with him. Doubt about his love separated us, and fear kept us in hiding. It does even now.

Still, he says, “I’m here! And I love you and want you to talk with me. I want this more than anything else. What do you want me to do to prove it? I’ll do anything. I’ll come be with you. No, I’ll become one of you. And if that’s not enough, I’ll die for you.” 

And he did it. He became a pauper baby, then a respected teacher, and said, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent ” (John 6:29).

Then we killed him. Of course, he let us. Because he realized that if we killed him, if he’d die for us, we just might believe he loves us.

We just might.

What of Jesus’ words don’t you believe?
Why don’t you believe them?
What about God loving you and wanting your best is hard for you to accept? 


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