By Brendan Slovacek
Let’s face it– God doesn’t need you.
If you think that God’s going to shrivel up and die if you don’t love Him, you’re sadly mistaken. God doesn’t need you at all to still be God. He’s still the GOAT. He’s still the most powerful and loving being ever. He’s still going to choose to not put pineapple on His pizza. With, or without you, God is God. He doesn’t need you- but God does want you.
There’s absolutely no reason why God should love us. We’re broken, we sinners, we literally killed Him.
Yet, God still loves us.
He desires us more than anything and He hates to see our pain and despair. With every broken heart, His breaks a little too, but as His heart breaks, grace pours out from His heart into our own.
When God made the Heavens and the Earth and all the fishies in the sea and creepy crawlies on the land, He said it was all good. But creation itself was incomplete. He saw that he wanted something ever greater than all those things in His created land– and that thing is you.
When I was in high school, I didn’t understand this at all. I thought that if God and I both stayed in our own lanes, I’d never have to worry about Him and He would just leave me be. I thought that God would cease to be important if I just ignored Him. But God smacks down this idea in Jeremiah 23:23: “‘Am I a God who is near,'” declares the LORD, “‘And not a God far off?'” No matter the distance I ran from God, He was always trailing behind me with His hand held out. It took until I finally was broken down physically from a severe football injury and the prospect of playing sports again (let alone ever being able to walk normal and run again) made me reevaluate my life. I wanted sports in my life, the same way I wanted love, and money, and tacos. But all those things could be taken away from me and what was I left with? Soon, my coaches didn’t want me around because I wasn’t able to play, my school was angry I missed so much time for doctor’s appointment’s and surgeries, and tacos… well, they’re still there for me, but can be taken away at any moment. But the things that really mattered to me and that I wanted no longer wanted me and were gone.
The one thing I didn’t want ended up wanting me more than anything. God is so good that out of a sheer abundance of love for us, He made us so we can join in His life. Even after Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit and humanity kept turning away from God, He loved us all the more. He loves us so much that He became flesh in Jesus Christ and reconciled us to the Father and saved us from certain condemnation. God showed me this love one stormy day when I was on a mandatory confirmation retreat lead by NET Ministries USA.
It was the absolute last thing I wanted to do with my Sunday.
The Chicago Bears were coming close to being in the playoffs and I needed to see that game. Instead, I was forced to sit through 7 hours of talks, childish games, skits, and small groups. However, in the 7th hour of that day, during prayer time, I finally asked God why everything I loved was taken away from me? His answer came in the form of the next song in the prayer playlist that was going.
“And then I saw Him there, hanging on a tree, looking at me. I saw Him there, hanging on a tree, looking at me. He was looking at me, looking at Him, staring through me… He had arms wide open, a heart exposed. Arms wide open; He was bleeding… Love’s definition was looking at me, and this is how I know what love is.” (Arms Wide Open by Misty Edwards)
I spent so much time turning away from God and running circles around Him, but every moment I ran around Him, He was turning towards me. It was through the pain He felt on the cross that I was healed. Every inch the nails were driven into His body was an inch they were taken out of mine. He didn’t need to die for me, and He didn’t need to create me at all. He is still God with or without me, but He wants me and He isn’t going anywhere.
We spend so much of our time putting conditions on God like “God, I’ll go to daily mass every day if you show me my future spouse,” or “God, I’ll go to confession and let you forgive me only if I don’t have to stop acting this way”. When we do that, we act like God needs us and that He needs to love us. That entire logic is reversed from reality. In reality, it’s us that needs God’s love, which He wants to give us. Just like I wanted certain things and dismissed God like He needed me and without me, He wasn’t important, so many other people fall into that same lie.
If you’re stuck wondering where God is, or thinking He isn’t there, just look for Him. He’s giving you all the blessings that you’re willing to accept. No matter where you are in your life, God wants to love you. There’s an everlasting love that we’ll only find with Him and He’s giving it freely to you, with no strings attached. The only person who can reject God’s love for you is you, but God wants so much more for you than what this world has to offer. He wants to give you Himself. Whether it’s accepting the help of others when Christ works through them to you, or actually sitting down and finally praying, He wants to work in your life right now. You are important to Him as His masterpiece of creation, you are loved by Him, and you are His child. God wants to love you- so will you let Him?