Christmas is the best time of year, some people say. Others think it is the worst time of year. It’s supposed to be all about family, friends, and love. And all this in harmony and bliss. These are all good things but often they can be a bit elusive. Especially the harmony and bliss part. Yet we search for them as our life depended on them. We want to have love at any cost. And that’s where we go wrong. Our life does not depend on our marital status or how perfect our life looks like or how functional our family is. It depends on God and the unconditional love only he can give.
It’s natural to want unconditional love. But it’s not healthy to search for it where it can’t be found. Nonetheless, that’s what we keep doing. Repeatedly we get heartbroken and then we wonder why. But I had never thought that our search for unconditional love at wrong places is a betrayal to God. With the words of Henri Nouwen, ‘I am the prodigal son every time I search for unconditional love where it cannot be found’.
Our search for unconditional love
Isn’t the Prodigal Son story (Luke 15:11-32) so easy to dismiss when you think your real prodigal years are behind you or they’ve never really existed? But we can’t get away from the story that easily. We might be the older son, of course. But, most likely, we are prodigals without realizing it. Every time we search for unconditional love where it cannot be found, we are unfaithful prodigals. And that happens way too often, right?
We need to learn to lean on God for our needs. Our search for unconditional love does not get a happy ending anywhere but at the cross. The hole inside us will always be empty if Jesus does not fill it. Thankfully, Jesus is ready to fill us anytime. We just need to learn to turn to him first and foremost. And everything else will follow.
Forgive us being unfaithful to you in more ways than we can count.
Enable us to trust you completely.
Teach us to search for unconditional love in you.
Fill us to the prim with your love and grace.
Enable us to feel your presence.
In Jesus’ name,
Q4U: Do you seek unconditional love where it cannot be found?
Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you let God’s love make you whole!