Whenever I was going through a difficult time in my childhood, my mother used to tell me, “The important things don’t change.” When my life was flipping upside down and it seemed that nothing would ever be the same again she reminded me: “I am still your Mom. Your Dad is still your Dad. We both still love you very much. You are still Kate, and you still have every skill, passion, gift, and interest that makes you, you. God is still good, He is still in control, and He still loves you.” The really crucial, important things don’t change. Paul assures us of one very unchanging thing in the book of Romans. “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” [Romans 8:38-39]
This means that your sin cannot separate you from the love of Jesus - nothing you have ever done, or said, or thought. There is no mistake, no secret shame, no willful act of rebellion that can separate you from God’s love for you in Jesus. There is no combination of a hundred sins that can separate you from God’s love.
This means that no circumstance, no matter how dark or fearful, can separate you from the love of God. No tragedy diminishes his love for you. You cannot put yourself in a place far enough, Satan cannot put you in a place dark enough, the world cannot put you in a place difficult enough to separate you from the love of God.
No amount of illness makes you “too much of a hassle,” no amount of stubbornness and pride make you unreachable. You cannot be too needy or too hopeless for God. No foolish choices, no number of failed relationships or lost jobs, NOTHING in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The thing is though, in order to be “unseparated,” you have to be where God is. Have you accepted God’s radical love? Are you with Him? THIS is what Christmas is about! God came to us! He entered our mortal world and became Emmanuel, which means “God with us!”
How can you reflect God’s unchanging love this season? Whom can you encourage one more time? Whom can you forgive one more time? Is there a family member who needs to be reminded of the ever-present, unchanging nature of God’s love? A friend or a neighbor in a time of need? I challenge you today, in response to God’s steadfast love in your life, to be the vessel through which God pours His love onto someone who needs to be reminded that “the important things don’t change.”