After months (now years) of trying to have a child, a woman sits on the bathroom floor and cries. Everyone around her seems to be pregnant, and she still waits wondering where God is in her life.
A man is trapped in a web of addiction even though he is trying as hard as he can to get into recovery, knowing he is hurting himself and those around him. He feels surrounded by darkness with a seemingly impossible task before him. He feels as if he is alone.
She is enveloped in depression. He is stuck in a job he hates. She feels stuck in a rut surrounded by the mundane. The main breadwinner in the family is laid off with no prospects of a new job. Someone loses a child, a father, a mother. Someone has a terminal disease. Someone simply feels hollow inside. Someone — everyone has something.
Where is God’s love for you? How do you see it? How do you feel it?
I could tell you that it’s hard. I could tell you all of the reasons why you should feel God’s love surrounding you. I could give you evidence based on the earth, itself. This earth that God created as an awe inspiring manifestation of his love. He made mountains and valleys, rivers and streams, rain forests and deserts, and there is beauty and love in all of it. He gave us the sun to brighten our days, warm our bodies and help grow our food. He gave us the moon and stars to give light in the darkness; a reminder that we are not alone even in the darkest of times. This earth is filled with all types of beauty so that we, in our vast and varied states of being, would have something available to resonate in our souls when we take the time to look. So we could all have our own witness of the divine.
I could tell you that the scriptures are filled with words testifying of God’s love. They give us direction, they teach us how to act, how to be good. They testify of God’s ultimate gift of love, the sacrifice of his Son, Jesus Christ. They give us gems of truth such as “We love him, because he first loved us.” (1 John 4:19)
I could tell you that God’s love can be felt and seen in the people surrounding us. The stranger on the street who smiles and says hello. The person who writes a note, out of the blue, thanking you for something and letting you know that you are loved. Or the child who loves you unconditionally, just as God does.
I could tell you all of these things, but these are reminders of his love. To see it, to feel it for yourself is much less complicated. You simply have to ask him.
Go to God, your father, in prayer and ask him. You can kneel down in a quiet place and ask. You can ask him while you are in the middle of work as you pray in your heart. You can ask while driving in your car. You can ask him in the middle of a crowded room surrounded by people, and he will still answer you.
That is how I received my answer, as a teenager, to this very question. In a room full of other teenagers listening to a speaker who asked us to ask God. I will never forget the feeling that day as I asked God — point blank — whether he loved me or not. The answer came into my heart almost before the request had been finished.
“Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” (St. Matthew 6:9-11)