Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Amazing Love

Perhaps you heard the story this week of Tina Marie Stebbins of San Bernadino, California. In June 2002, Stebbins' boyfriend shot her, then held her hostage in his family's garage for six days before she was taken to a hospital. Her boyfriend, who claims that the shooting was an accident, was sentenced to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to attempted murder.

Now here's the kicker: in a letter released earlier this week, Stebbins said that she still intends to marry her boyfriend. She insists that she has forgiven him, and that they are soul mates.

My initial reaction was to think, What a nutjob. Now, I've had dated one or two guys before who weren't exactly Prince Charmings, but this one takes the cake. It's one thing to forgive the guy, but she's crazy to want to spend the rest of her life with him.

Then I started thinking about how this relates to our relationship with God. Maybe this kind of love isn't so kooky after all.

6 When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. 7 Now, no one is likely to die for a good person, though someone might be willing to die for a person who is especially good. 8 But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. 9 And since we have been made right in God's sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God's judgment. 10 For since we were restored to friendship with God by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be delivered from eternal punishment by his life. 11 So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God – all because of what our Lord Jesus Christ has done for us in making us friends of God. (Romans 5:6-11, emphasis mine)

Not only did (and does) God forgive us for sinning against Him, but He gave His only Son to die for us even while we were still sinners. As if forgiving us wasn't merciful and wonderful enough, God sought an eternal relationship with us. Talk about a mindboggling realization.

Furthermore, I have a feeling that Stebbins has some faith that her boyfriend would not attempt to harm her again, or else she wouldn't want to stay with him. But God knows that we will continue to sin against Him, and still He pursues us, still woos us to Him.

Talk about crazy love.

And can it be that I should gain
an interest in the Savior's blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain--
for me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! how can it be
that Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?
Amazing love! how can it be
that Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?
(Amazing Love, Charles Wesley, 1812)


That Girl said...

I know, I know... why put yourself in harm's way again but this afternoon when I read the story, I thought, "Isn't that what we're supposed to do?" You never know how you would react until you're in that same situation. I certainly hope I don't get in that situation! :)

DJG said...

I am grateful that God loves me this much....but I ain't God. I still think she is a "nutjob"