There’s an old saying I heard that’s always made me smile: A man chases a woman until she catches him. We men are often taught that we must keep pursuing the woman we like until we win her heart or, at least, get her to agree to go on a first date. When it’s done right (and not in a needy, stalker-ish way), it’s often that persistence that wins women, for it shows them the man really wants to go out with them and has singled them out from other women he knows.
God is far more relentless in His pursuit of us. Even Urkel’s incessant pursuit of Laura in Family Matters doesn’t match what God has done for us and continues to do. Adam and Eve walk away, God already has a plan to redeem all of mankind. Israel walks away from God almost like it’s a hobby in Judges, then they get conquered, then they return to God and He delivers them. For all the times His people have rejected Him, He has never left them. For all their mistakes, He’s still in relentless pursuit, counting all the hairs on their head, numbering all their footsteps, recording all their tears and thoughts and hopes and fears, always with a boundless love.
I used to believe that God didn’t love me personally. I believed He loved mankind and let me hop aboard the salvation bandwagon, but that was about the extent of His love for me. It wasn’t personal in my eyes, and it certainly wasn’t intense.
Last year, I met Leah and we started dating. This past May, we got married. She’s shown me more love in the last 14 months than I’ve ever experienced before: more passion, more forgiveness, more support, more…everything.
And her love is nothing compared to His. Had I done to her all the things I’ve done to God, yelled at her as brazenly as I have at Him, rejected everything she said to me, walked away for years, and hated her, our relationship would not be strong. There would be at the very least a ton of trust issues to work through. Her love for me is incredible and God-strengthened, but our marriage would be strained, to put it lightly.
God would pursue me relentlessly. Just as He pursued the Israelites by sending armies to conquer them to drive them back to Him. Just as He pursued Elijah when he was weary of life after reading Jezebel’s letter. Just as Jesus pursued Peter after he had denied Him three times. Just as He pursues you.
Nothing will prevent God from loving you, and the only thing that can prevent Him from showing that love is your decision to reject it.