Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced 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.
I am really good at awfulizing. I’m quite creative when it comes to imagining the worst that could happen to me. I get my exercise mountain climbing molehills. That’s why I am drawn to today’s scripture in which the apostle Paul engages in awfulizing. Paul envisions the very worst things that could happen to us, then shows God’s love triumphant every time.
I take my highlighter to this passage and count the many things that could seemingly shatter my life. It’s all there – persecution – famine — sword — slaughter – death – things present – even things to come. As if Paul thinks he hasn’t awfulized enough, he throws in “anything else in all creation.” But having covered all the bases on life’s imagined or real catastrophes, Paul then victoriously declares, “nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.”
I might lie awake at night counting my troubles and fearing the worst. But I cannot come up with anything that can ever come against God’s love for me. Nothing can happen to me today, or in all my tomorrows that can drive a wedge between me and God’s love poured out in Christ Jesus.
But what about my response to God? What if I am unfaithful to God’s love for me? Might I do something that would make God love me less? Again the apostle Paul puts my fears to rest: “if we are faithless, He remains faithful – for he cannot deny himself” (2 Timothy 2:13). The cross proves that God will stop at nothing to pour out His love, to be who He is: Love. Despite the many things I do not know, I do know this: nothing, not even me, can ever separate me from God’s steadfast and everlasting love!
A fellow traveler,