Romans 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?
Sitting in the pregnancy center counseling room a young woman sat adjacent from me, dejected and hollow. The pregnancy test was positive and I asked her how I could help her. “No one loves me. No one wants me. I can’t bring a baby into a place where no one will want him. I don’t want him to feel like I do, every day. I have to have an abortion.”
The air sucked out of me, we sat in silence for a little bit. I reached my hand across to her and all that came out was this verse, “Nothing can separate us from God’s love. There is someone who loves you. Very much. I’m so sorry no one has shown you that. I’m so sorry. God loves you. He loves your baby.” We went on to have a long conversation about sin and forgiveness and redemption and God bringing beauty from ashes, but I’m pretty sure all that really mattered to that young woman in that moment was that she was in fact loved by the God of the universe.
In the last year, we had a very close friend leave his marriage and leave the church. A stranger to us, his new life unrecognizable from the friend we treasured. For some of you that have experienced ministry losses like this, you understand the depth of the pain. The chasm that stretches between the individual and you, the relationships demolished.
This verse offers hope to a hurting world and to us. When we experience the struggle of separation, the shock of shattered relationships, of ministry moments where God’s work is hidden. Nothing can separate any of us from God’s love. He is faithful. So much in this life is hard and in ministry we get an intimate and up-close picture of this reality. World wars will come and go, persecution will increase, years will be fat and lean, dangers abound- but God is true to His Word. Nothing can separate us, or our families, or our sheep, from the love of Christ Jesus, our Lord.