Once I had a secret admirer. Well, twice, but I’m focusing on the most recent time. The secret gestures ranged from the small and thoughtful to the extravagant, and I had no clue who was behind it all. Even after I found out, I remained in shock. When I wasn’t overwhelmed with love and gratitude after the reveal, most of the people close to me thought I was crazy. There I was with no prospects for love, and a young man went over and above the norm to get my attention and show that he desired to date me, yet I remained indifferent. I couldn’t put my finger on it; I just wasn’t very interested.
Nevertheless, eventually, I gave in to the pressure. (In retrospect, I should’ve gone with my gut!)
While I doubt that many people would put a “secret” admirer in the same category as God, I do see a parallel between Him and admirers in general. Let’s see how they compare:
- Secret admirers make the first move.
Usually, with no encouragement from the object of their affection, secret admirers make a gesture to show their intentions, though without revealing their identity.
- Secret admirers make the most significant investment.
The gestures meant to declare their love generally require an investment of time and money. Sometimes, there are logistical considerations that need outside help to pull off the gesture.
- Secret admirers must be vulnerable.
There’s no way to halfway lay it on the line when you’re a secret admirer. When getting ready for the ‘big reveal,’ it’s understood that you’re prepared to lay everything out on the table and tell them how you feel. After all, you’ve already shown them!
At a glance, I’m beginning to see how God’s love can be related to that of a secret admirer (just not mine in particular; no comparison). In short,
- God made the first move in showing love toward us.
In Romans 5:8, we read that God demonstrated His love for us when Jesus died for us while we were still sinners. He didn’t wait for us to indicate whether or not we would cooperate and ensure Jesus wouldn’t die in vain. He went all out.
- God made the most significant investment; the ultimate sacrifice.
More directly than Romans 5:8, John 3:16 states, For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life. Is there a more significant demonstration of love?! He made a monumental first move, one that was irrevocable, to show how He loved me…and you.
- God left no room for turning back.
While there are numerous words to describe God, I’m not sure vulnerable counts as one of them. When humans love, we become open to attack or rejection when we lay everything on the table without knowing how the other person feels. But God? He’s not open for attack, and His only method of operation is ‘all or nothing.’ He IS love, and the expressions He laid out before humanity are incomparable and nothing we can do in return could either earn or repay His love.
I believe that’s why Cory Asbury described His love as “reckless,” because He thought nothing of the consequences of loving us. So much, that He gave His Son as ransom to redeem us from a lost state. When we could have “earned” death as repayment for sin, we received grace by faith with a guarantee of eternal life. No greater love!
Allow His love to be the lens you use to look through every day, especially toward those who haven’t received Him yet. Find ways to encourage them with, ‘If only you knew…’ in mind. Commit to pray for them. Remember, they may not fully understand the magnitude of His love the way you do today. However, as you’re encouraging them, show mercy, or you run the risk of pointing them in the other direction from their not-so-secret Admirer.
And if you’re struggling with embracing and acknowledging the depth of His love, meditate on scriptures as you take a trip down memory lane. Remember those irrational fears you used to have? Or, where you had sickness or grief, now you have peace. Things aren’t perfect, but His perfect love has a way of making everything better when we realize we aren’t alone!