I was twenty years old when I became a Christian at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. And, boy, was I a broken mess. Sometime during that first year after coming to know Jesus, even I could recognize the struggle within. Actually, there were many struggles within. But one of them was the struggle to believe that God could really love me. Really? Me? With everywhere I’d been? With all that I’d done?
I had written many songs in my young life before I was a Christian. Writing and singing had always been a way for me to express my deepest longings and desires, pain and sorrows.
So I sat down with my guitar and began writing…to myself.
“You try so hard to make everyone believe that everything’s alright.
Don’t want nobody knowing you cry yourself to sleep at night.
You’ve got something on your mind and you’re trying to find
Somewhere to go, someone who knows how to ease the pain.
But you stay away from the One who loves you so.
And you don’t know how much He loves you, no.
You don’t know how much He loves you.
He loves you so.”
Even then I could see how easy it is to want to pretend that everything is alright and to believe we can fool those around us. And that we can fool God. Who are we kidding?
“And it hurts Him so to see us in need and not coming to his side.
Are we denying the cross on which He bled, the cross on which He died?
Saying, ‘It’s too big, it’s too small, oh, it’s nothing at all. He doesn’t care, He’s not there. Well, beware, it’s just a lie. ‘Cause you don’t know how much He loves you…”
On the one hand, we want to provide for ourselves. To be tough. To show that we don’t need anybody. On the other hand, we know we need help but we convince ourselves of the reasons why no one would want to help us.
“But you say that you’re happy where you are right now.
And if you weren’t that it wouldn’t matter anyhow.
But I know that’s a lie ‘cause He wants you now. Where you are. Right now. And you don’t know. No. No."
He really does want us. Right now. Right where we are. Why do we insist on trying to clean ourselves up so we can come to him in our still-very-filthy rags?
“So you’re trying alone and you’re living on your own strength and getting weaker every day.
And you’re finding you're falling much too much, more than you’d like to say.
But you keep pressing on saying, ‘One day I’ll be strong.' It doesn’t feel right and you know why? ‘Cause you’ve got it all wrong.
And you don’t know how much He loves you…”
I can be so stubborn!
It’s been years since I wrote that song. I’ve learned a little about how very much God does love me. How He longs for relationship with me. How He pursues me. How it’s not up to me. It’s all about Him and His faithfulness, even when I am unfaithful. The truth is I love Him because He first loved me.
What about you? Do you know how much He loves you? He loves you as He loves His own son. Think on that for a few minutes. God loves you AS MUCH as He loves His own son. That’s pretty amazing, don’t you think?
Click below to listen to the song, "You Don't Know."