“I remember years ago when I first began to drink of the well of God’s affection for me. I had no idea of the
journey I was about to take, which was actually a journey into God’s emotions. I was in a difficult season in ministry.
I was a youth pastor and, as can be the case when ministering to teenagers, things weren’t going very well. I was in the middle of a youth ministry mutiny. Several of the young people had been very vocal about their dislike for the ministry and for me as their youth pastor. It seemed as if the more I tried to help, the worse things got. The truth is, it was only a handful of young people who were voicing their displeasure, but in those circumstances it can feel as if everyone is against you. I was wallowing in a den of self-pity, and so the problems I faced seemed far bigger than they actually were.
As things became particularly difficult, my wife and I took a date night road trip to try to ease the pain. We
loaded up and made for one of our favorite restaurants about an hour from our home. The place serves Chicago style pizza—perfect for packing your stomach in attempt to forget the problems crowding your mind. That night we talked about anything but ministry to try to rest our hearts, forget our sorrows, and enjoy each other. Devouring all the pizza we could handle, we gathered ourselves and embarked on the hour-long car ride home.
On the way home as my wife nestled quietly next to me in a pizza-induced coma, I began to revisit the challenges I was having with the ministry. My problems hadn’t gone away despite our attempt to escape them. They were still looming there like a lump in my throat—except now I was also uncomfortably full and fighting off sleep. Stuffed and sad, in a moment of despair, I complained to the Lord: “Why did You even make humans, God? So many of us are so messed up. Why did You even bother with us?”
Looking back, I laugh at how a relatively small problem exposed my shallowness. Not really expecting an answer, I was surprised when the tender response came: “Why did I make you?”
It was then that I knew I was about to get a lesson I wasn’t looking for. When God asks a question, it’s not
because He doesn’t know the answer. It’s because He wants to instruct your heart.
I retorted, “God, I’m not in the mood for this right now. I’ve got real problems.”
Once again the quiet inner voice petitioned. “Why did I make you?”
I answered by rote, offering things I’d heard or believed. But with each answer came a reply that flattened my notions.
“You made us to serve You,” I tried first.
“I have thousands upon thousands of servant angels,” I heard God speak to my heart. “What could you possibly do for Me that I can’t do for Myself?”
I knew I was in trouble then. God’s answer was something I had never considered.
I tried another familiar thought: “You made us to worship You.”
Kindly but firmly God responded, “I didn’t make an entire race of people just so they would bow down before Me. I am Most High, even without the participation of men.”
“Oh, God, I don’t know . . . ” Now I was grasping for answers. I decided to go broader, more generic. “You
made us to fulfill our purpose?”
“Son, without Me, you would have no purpose. I am your purpose.”
That silenced me. Driving in the quiet dark that night with my thoughts, I realized I didn’t know why God
Then another question came. “Billy, what am I?”
The first thing that popped into my head was 1 John 4:8. “Love,” I said. “God, You are love.”
“That’s right,” came the reply. “And by its very definition, love must love. I didn’t make you to do anything for Me. I made you to love you.”
In that moment of disillusionment, the waterfall of revelation came: God made men and women for the express purpose of loving them.
Could it be?
Up to that point I had imagined God’s main purpose for creating us was to get something out of us or
to get us to do something for Him. But here it landed all at once: God didn’t make us to do something, but to be something—loved.” Billy Humphrey, To Know Him(Lake Mary, FL: Passio, 2013), Used by permission.
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