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 very creative at imagining the worst things that could happen to me. I didn’t earn the nickname “Worrywart” for nothing. I frequently get my exercise by mountain climbing molehills. That’s why I am so drawn to today’s scripture in which the apostle Paul does some awfulizing, imagining the worst that could happen, but showing God’s love triumphant every time.
You take a highlighter to this scripture passage and count the many things we might fear would shatter and tear apart our lives. It’s all there:
“persecution…famine…sword…slaughter…death…things present”…and even “things to come.” As if Paul has not awfulized enough, he throws in “anything else in all creation.” But having covered every imagined or real catastrophe, Paul then declares victoriously: “nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.”
We might lie awake at night awfulizing and meditating on the worst that might happen. But we are unable to come up with anything that could ever separate us from God’s loving care for us. Nothing can happen to us today, or in all our tomorrows that can separate us from the love of God poured out in Christ Jesus.
But what if we are unfaithful, or not believing in God’s astonishing love for us? Again Paul would put our fears to rest when he says: “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, and to be for us who He is: Love. Despite our many wrong turns and failings, we can know that nothing can ever separate us from God’s everlasting love for us. Thanks be to God for His stubborn love!
A fellow traveler,