In His Image

He has loved us from the beginning. The Creator of all things created us to have someone to love and to be loved by. He gave us a place to live. He gave us the food we eat and the water we drink. He formed us in His own image so we can easily remember we are His children. Is that not why He designed it that way? Our children take after us in appearance and all they have to do is look in the mirror to see their mother’s eyes or their father’s nose.

We know love because He first loved us. It’s difficult to love someone if you do not know what love is to begin with. A child raised in an abusive home may flinch away from the first loving touching offered it. Someone who has only been in violent relationships may fear a loving embrace from lack of understanding, terrified a hateful hand is moments away from striking them. Yet another will have difficulty comforting or showing instinctive compassion towards a friend when they were raised under the care of a coldhearted parent. Still, several of us know what love should look like and if we are living out the word of God those who have gone through such awful things will begin to recognize it too.

Unfortunately there are many in this world who have forgotten that we were created to be loved and to love. They have forgotten there is a Father in Heaven that they take after who loves them unconditionally and accepts them as they are. It is we — those who know Jesus as our Lord and Savior — who are tasked with reminding them. It is we who are called to love them as Jesus loves us. Because if we don’t, someone will pass away from this life believing no one ever loved them, no one ever cared.

A few months ago in a Bible Study group we studied a lesson that, during the group discussion, turned the conversation to those who are depressed, dealing with suicidal thoughts, or are cutting themselves. It was said during this discussion that it is heartbreaking to know there are people burdened by this, but it is also infuriating because the devil has encouraged those who are already suffering to do themselves harm and, as a result, destroy the image of God. The devil can’t lay a hand on God but he can encourage us to hurt ourselves, knowing God is watching us. In this way, the devil is torturing God, breaking His heart over and over. Sadly, God can’t stop it. To do so would be to break His promise to never take away our free will.

Those words put a new, sorrowful spin on my teenage years. In my early teens, I was depressed and struggled with suicidal thoughts. To look back now without all that darkness plaguing me and to think of how God’s heart must have broken as He watched me struggle brings tears to my eyes. If I think on it too long, I’ll weep. The thing is, I wasn’t the only one during that moment of time who was suffering from this darkness. There were thousands around the globe who were going through the same thing. Image the amount of pain from all that heartache God was going through. The devil isn’t just hurting us, he’s hurting the only one who has ever loved us purely.

I believe this is why Jesus will wipe our tears away in the end. This is why He assures us that death, mourning, crying, pain, all this things will no longer weigh us down. He didn’t have to encourage John to write in Revelation that these things will pass, yet He did anyways. He wants us to know He knows of our struggles and of our sufferings, and He’s reminding us it’s all going to be okay. That one scripture is a reminder that when the evil of this life has been dealt with we will be reunited with our loving Father and neither He nor us will be hurt again.

As this article draws to a close, I encourage you to take a moment to be still and remember He is God. Look at your hands. Look at your feet. Gaze into the mirror and study the eyes before you. Do you see Him?

“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”

Genesis 1:27

“We love because he first loved us.”

1 John 4:19

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

Revelation 21:4

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