Life is full of hassle, and the more we love something the more of a hassle it seems to be. As skateboarders, it is amazing what we put our bodies through in order to do what we love. My body is always aching or hurting somewhere, but I can never stay off of a board for longer than a few days. Somedays I really want to take a week or two off to let my body heal, but I can’t bring myself to do it, I love it too much. It is also costly with all the things we have to keep buying to stay in it – boards, wheels, shoes, etc. Skateboarding is a hassle that I gladly put up with.
When I read the story of God’s people in the Bible, I see this same kind of thing. God is constantly getting frustrated with His people, but he gladly endures the hassle because of the love He has for them. The Israelites that are led out of slavery in Egypt are constantly doing the opposite of what is expected of them, and the frustration of God is vividly portrayed in the scriptures, and he loves them anyway and gladly puts up with their foolish behavior. The moment Moses leaves them alone for a bit, they make a golden calf and start worshipping it as their God. And even after they see God bring bread down from heaven, and see him bring fourth water from a rock, they still question his goodness and motive for bringing them out of Egypt. Whenever they felt any bit of discomfort, they started grumbling to Moses about how they should have just stayed in Egypt as slaves. The Old Testament narratives (Genesis – Esther) are full of stories that leave you wondering, “why does God consistently put up with such a stubborn, disobedient, foolish people?” And the answer is simple, he loves them enough that the hassle doesn’t matter. Jeremiah 31:3 says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love, therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.” And if we look at ourselves closely, we should be asking ourselves the same question everyday about God regarding us – “Why does God consistently put up with us and choose to love us when we consistently mess up and do stupid stuff?” And yet again the answer is simple, He loves us with the same “everlasting love” that he did for ancient Israel.
Love involves hassle, and for skateboarders this should be obvious, our bodies are always hurting somewhere and we are always having to spend money on our passion. And God loves His people with this same kind of love, but to a greater extent of course. It is a hassle to love something or someone, but that’s what makes it special, love gladly endures the hassle. God loves us with an everlasting love, and what a great assurance that the hassle it takes for Him to love us will never become too much for Him and make him want to back out. Deuteronomy 31:8, “It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you nor forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” Matthew 28:20, “Behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”