So I was driving home from UNC Charlotte in my white Ford Fiesta 5-speed listening to 102.9 The Lake “We play anything”. (I’m a 46 year old engineering professor. Don’t judge.)
The popular 80s ballad “Is this love” by Whitesnake was playing. Somehow I still know the lyrics. Here’s the refrain.
Is this love that I’m feeling
Is this the love that I’ve been searching for
Is this love or am I dreaming
This must be love
‘Cause it’s really got a hold on me
A hold on me
This made me think of 1 John 4. In this chapter, John (the one whom Jesus loved, John 13:23) explains that God IS love. If we want to talk about love, the discussion must begin and end with God. He is the author of love.
Love songs are popular because they ask the fundamental question, “Are you the one who will finally give me love?” By design, there is the chance of either heartache or fulfillment. I’m going to let you in on a non-secret: you are guaranteed unconditional, eternal, never-leave-you love with God.
The never-leave-you part is critical. Isn’t that our basic fear in relationship? I give my heart to you and you trample on it when you leave me. If you’ve experienced it, you may have been deeply hurt. Broken trust is difficult to repair.
Did you know that God has provided us with a picture of his faithfulness, even in the face of our infidelity? God wants you to know that when you choose him, he will never leave you alone, even if you are unfaithful (if you try to replace him with something else). Jesus says explicitly in John 6:39 that he will “lose none of all those he has given me.” This love is safe!
Here’s the picture God painted for you. In Hosea 1:2, God tells Hosea “Go, marry a promiscuous woman and have children with her.” He obeys and marries Gomer. They have three children. She is, not surprisingly, unfaithful. She commits adultery with another man. The mother of Hosea’s children is sleeping with someone else.
What is God’s response to Gomer? Does he pour out his wrath on her infidelity? This is what he instructs Hosea to do: “Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another man and is an adulteress.” (Hosea 3:1)
Surprised? God gives this example to show that he will never remove his love from you. Our sin, which would divide us from God, was removed by Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. Accept this gift. Accept God’s love. You’ll then know the true answer to Whitesnake’s question.
Is this the love that I’ve been searching for?