By Darlene Franklin
God’s love never fails. At all. We can’t climb over, dig under or detour around His love. It fills every crook of the known and the unknown. (Ephesians 3:19, Romans 8:39, NIV))God’s love never fails. At all. We can’t climb over, dig under or detour around His love. It fills every crook of the known and the unknown. (Ephesians 3:19, Romans 8:39, NIV))However, our experience with His care works more like a magic trick. Imagine a heaven-sized jug filled with milk-colored love:An empty cup sits next to thefull container of God’s love.God’s no-matter-what love showers creation nature with times, seasons, and beauty. His written word shouts it in glorious prose. We read about babies held in the arms of barren women, of David dancing before the ark on the way to Jerusalem. The Living Word, Jesus, spelled it out in flesh, demonstrating how we should love one another.I feel more like Helen Keller, who lived in a void absent of sight, sound, or speech. She said, “I cried because I had no shoes until I saw a man who had no feet.” I don’t recognize its abundance until I see someone in greater need. We refuse the provided cup but instead use a self-made cone, which fails.God protected the Israelites for forty years. He provided for every need, but they still didn’t believe in His faithfulness When a spring didn’t appear to quench their thirst, they begged for Moses’s help. He fashioned a drinking cup of his own design when he struck the rock with his staff. Because He didn’t speak to the rock as God had instructed, the Lord was greatly displeased. For reasons I confess I don’t completely understand, God denied him entrance into the promised land. My daughter had Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). I described the experience as traveling through a black hole that ate my flesh and spat out dry bones. BPD couldn’t be healed, but a person with the illness could adapt, survive, and even thrive. Whether we suffer from some form of short-term mental illness, a disorder, or just the highs and lows of life, many people have experienced a dark place. We seek God, begging for His love, and instead it seems like He is hiding. (Isaiah 64:7)Push the magic another step in your imagination: Suppose both the cup and the jug appear empty.Like the milk in the magic trick, God’s love hasn’t disappeared. But sometimes it’s invisible to the human eye. Roman philosopher Seneca pointed out that every new beginning comes from other beginning’s end. Joseph understood that. He became Pharaoh’s second-in-command only after he had been both a slave and a prisoner. Only after I accept the fact that no amount of effort can make my sixty-year-old body do the work of a young adult does the murk that’s been hiding God’s glory wash away. God rubs His hands together. “I’ve been waiting for you to join Me. Let go and watch Me go to work.”Light-bulb inventor Thomas Edison is famous for saying he found 10,000 ways that didn’t work. Failure to see God’s love doesn’t mean it’s not there.Back to the full jug and empty cup.Milk is poured into the glass so that milk appears in both the jug and the cup.Ebenezer Scrooge’s cup was worse than empty. Generations have celebrated the transformation of the king of “bah humbug” to the man who vowed to honor Christmas in his heart.During my Bible college years, I wrote a term paper on God’s love. I had no idea how necessary the verses, theories and patterns I uncovered would be throughout my life.My cup has appeared empty many times. * Studied piano for twelve years before being told I wasn’t good enough. * Married for life-divorced after twelve years.* Trained for missionary service-kicked out of two churches.I thought I reached rock bottom when my son was taken from the home as a teenager. Instead, God’s love pulsed within that my frozen core and kept me going when I felt hopeless. Those years trained me for my daughter’s death. I felt numb, but not unloved. Love poured over me through the gifts of countless friends from around the world. When I couldn’t see God’s care in my drinking cup, He kept me alive and healed me.The promise is no illusion. God’s love is real, and it will never fail.Even if it took me 10,000 tries for me to see His brilliance.