SWEET AND TOUGH LOVE
FATHER, You loved me before I loved You, but not only that, You showered love on me before I was born—before I took any action toward You one way or another (Rom 9:11). You have saved me not because I have done any good toward You, but You saved me because You are simply infinitely good. And, Your kindness stays true even when I am foolish and disobedient (ref#35, p119). You do not alter Your love for me no matter what I have done, are doing, or will do.
LORD, sometimes You rebuke me, chasten me, hide Your face from me, and smite me. You even will fill me with a sense of Your indignation, yet Your love does not change. These demonstrations proceed from Your love as much as what I call kindnesses from You (ref#35, p121).
I ask, dear FATHER, that You keep me remembering how Your love disciplines me. Has not Your disciplinary events sobered me, put me back in my place, reminded me that above all else, I want a loving relationship with You? Please keep me from falling back into self-love. I need Your love, even the love that doesn’t feel like love, if I’m ever to actually experience Your lovingkindness being better than life (Ps 63:3).
“If you comfort me,
I will bless You;
if You would have me afflicted,
I will bless You just as much” Thomas a’Kempis (ref#147, p154).