For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth, that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.
– 2 Chronicles 16:9
One of my best friends proudly wears the nickname “Mama Bear.”
She’s one of the most loving people I know. She quietly endures the occasional gossip and rude remarks directed to her with much grace. She doesn’t care what people say about her.
But don’t hurt someone she loves.
No creature may display God’s protective nature toward His children as well as a bear. Mother bears are legendary for their fierce anger when their cubs are threatened. Stories abound of hapless hikers who have accidently come between a female bear and her offspring and paid a gruesome price for their blunder.
I have a hard time comprehending this depth of God’s protective love. I believe God loves me, but in the heat of daily battles I often give in to the feeling God is either an angry father waiting to discipline me, a distant benefactor, or just too busy running the universe to worry about me at all.
This is far from the truth. God loves us passionately, completely, and yes, even fiercely. Jesus warned his enemies:
Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it is better for him that a heavy millstone be hung around his neck, and that he be drowned in the depth of the sea.
– Matthew 18:6
God’s commitment to us is so strong He is heartbroken when we turn from Him. He cried out to the wayward children of Israel:
My people are bent on turning from Me…
How can I give you up, O Ephraim?
How can I surrender you, O Israel?
…My heart is turned over within Me,
All my compassions are kindled.
…I will encounter them like a bear robbed of her cubs….
– Hosea 11:7a, 8; 13:8a
You can almost feel His tears.
God loves us passionately. He invades time and space for us. There is nothing He hasn’t sacrificed for His kids.
We are in His heart every moment, no matter how lost we feel.
He loves us intensely. He protects us fiercely. It doesn’t matter if we’re living in victory or huddling in despair. It has nothing to do with our worthiness.
In the mud or on the mountain, He finds us.
It’s not based on who we know, who loves us, or who hates us. Doctrine doesn’t save us, and positive thinking doesn’t deliver us. We are safe because we are His kids. We wear His name. We carry His image. We can face today with hope, for He has promised to always be with us.
I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you.
– Hebrews 13:5