Therefore Jesus said to the Twelve, “You don’t want to go away too, do you?” John 6:67
Few things are more painful than expressing your love only to get no response in return. The first few times, you are able to forgive quite easily. You believe that, eventually, your love will warm the heart of the other person. But there are those who, even over the long haul, choose not to let anyone in the door. The problem may not be you but them. Their heart is closed and impaired. For some reason in their personal history, they were rendered incapable of extending a connection. If this person is your spouse or your child, the pain is searing.
It’s easy to succumb to the temptation to try harder. You mount a life-long crusade to shower the person with even more love and attention. You believe that more is better. But more is only more threatening. Keep banging on a closed door and you’ll only push the person on the other side to build more layers of protection.
Will that person in your life eventually open up to your love? I can’t say; only God knows. But prayer is the only way to weather the relationship. God usually has us back up, dial back the intensity, and allow Him to do what only He can do to bring them to us.
The purpose of this devotional is not to focus on the one who refuses to be loved. It is to minister to you if you are the one who loves and gets nothing back. Years of unresponsiveness wear on your soul. Where do you find the grace to keep loving? A gracious Father. Where do you find the wisdom to know when to approach and when to take a step back? A wise Father. Where do you find someone who understands what it’s like to care for ungrateful and unresponsive people? From a God who also pursues to see few respond. He gave His own life to prove His love but the majority is unimpressed and even hostile to the rare gift He offers.
If I move toward God with my broken heart, He moves toward me. If I ask for help, He doesn’t turn away, He responds. He is a responsive Father. Declarations of love, and of need, are met with strong emotion. I must never forget that when I’m not wanted here, I’m wanted by the One who made me. Longings for intimacy and returned affection are met in the arms of my Savior.
Your love was not cheap, Lord. It was expensive and I respond with my whole heart. Amen