But I fear I’m falling, oh make me believe.
Romance is a wonderful thing. The long talks, smiles, interlocked hands and purposeless walks— all of these things make us feel alive. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been single for years or married for 60, we can all relate to Tom in 500 Days of Summer when he dances through the streets to “You Make My Dreams” because he won Summer’s heart. Feelings can carry us to the top of the world.
The problem is, feelings fade. I heard a friend recently admit that he has fallen hard for dozens of girls only to break up with them after dating for a few months because the butterflies stopped flying. And that is the way our culture works—we date people until they cease to give us what we want.
Although I’m sure I could write a great deal about the problem of mistaking emotional romance for love, that’s not what this post is about. I’m writing this because I’ve seen many people (including myself) act as though following Christ is like being in a petty high school relationship. When things get difficult, complicated, confusing or unfulfilling, we walk away.
Most of the time, this is really subtle. It’s leaving a church because the worship music doesn’t give you goose bumps, or neglecting prayer because you don’t feel God’s arms tangibly hugging you like you once did. The problem is, Jesus did not come to sprinkle magic feel-good emotions on us. He came to lead us into the Kingdom of God, and following him there can be tough.
I’ll be the first to admit I struggle in my faith. I often feel unsatisfied and turn to accomplishments, approval, possessions and physical intimacy to get my fix of fulfillment. But I have to assume this emptiness was felt by Abraham when he waited 25 years for God’s promise, or by Joseph when his brothers left him for dead, or by Paul when his ship wrecked in a far off land, and yet they pressed on.
Even when we can’t feel Christ’s love and our hearts long to run a hundred different directions, we can still offer devotion, knowing that God rewards those who seek Him. Because really, Jesus is not a girlfriend to break up with, but rather our Lord to worship and our King to serve.