Do you ever struggle with believing God’s love for you doesn’t have to be earned by being good or doing good works?

I remember vividly the night God freed me from believing that I had to work at earning His love.  My first daughter, Madeleine, a newborn, began stirring at about 2:00 a.m. for her nightly feeding.  I quietly walked into her room, gently placed her in my arms and began to feed her.  Like most new mothers, I was exhausted, yet I grew to savor the middle of the night feedings, because everything was still and quiet.  This allowed me to exclusively and fully enjoy our time together.

After Madeleine was done feeding, I gently rocked her and lovingly studied her face.  I just adored her teeny tiny nose, her sweet rosy lips, and her pudgy little cheeks.  I stroked her soft, pearly skin and softly ran my fingertips over her pitter-pattering heart.  Oh, how I just loved to hold my daughter and delight in every part of her.  My helpless little newborn could barely do a thing, except occasionally flash me a sweet smile, yet I loved her with the entire depth and breadth of my soul!  She belonged to me, and I loved her with a passion so consuming that I could hardly stand it.

Just as I was enjoying the pleasure of our nightly ritual, God spoke to my spirit.  “My precious child, just as you love your daughter with your entire being, I love you in this same way.  Yes, as your tiny newborn can do nothing to gain your love, you too, can not earn my love…I love you simply because you are mine.”

Tears rolled down my face as God’s words embraced my soul and freed a burden I had carried for as long as I could remember.  I finally understood what God had been trying to show me my entire life.  There was simply nothing I could do to make God love me more than He already does.  While Madeleine couldn’t do anything to earn my love for her, I didn’t have to accomplish anything to obtain God’s love for me.  What an utterly freeing realization!  I will never forget the night God used my daughter to teach me about His love for me.

How about you?  Is it hard for you to believe the God of this universe loves you with an unfathomable passion simply because you belong to Him?  Do you find it difficult to embrace that you are loveable not because of what you do, but because of who you are– a child of the King who’s made in God’s image?