Does God really love me or is His love merely because I was part of the human race?
I was nine when I knelt down to pray to God, saying, "If you really love me, make the coat on the chair move."
I anxiously watched the coat. My concentration was so keen that I couldn't tell whether or not it moved. Did I detect some movement? I couldn't tell. It's a bit like now when I'm expecting my husband to come home, it seems like I can hear a car coming all day.
As an adult, I stopped praying for such signs but the question of whether God loved me as an individual person still troubled me. I had various prayer requests unmistakably answered and a meaningful relationship with God. I knew without a doubt that God was real, but still I wondered.
Then something happened that changed my uncertainty about God's love for me personally.
My husband had failed businesses that cost us years of debt to repay. It seemed like we would never have a nice home of our own. Then through an amazing property sale, we became the owners of a riverfront acreage.
To save money, we built and lived in a shed. Over time, my husband improved it until it was quite comfortable. Then one day, he announced that he would build us a house. Building a shed is one thing, but to build an attractive house that is up to government standards is another. I didn't take him very seriously.
But my husband said, "We can pray."
And the ways those prayers were answered was astonishing. A six tonne load of hardwood that were still in slings cost us $20. The marine ply that became the entire upstairs floor was given to us in exchange for secondhand sheets of round iron, which had originally been given to us too! A relative gave us the money to pay for all the roofing iron. The answers to prayer and generosity continued till we had a beautiful five-bedroom house.
That was when I realised that if God was willing to provide me a home that is only temporary till when Jesus returns, He loves me enough to do whatever it takes to get me to heaven. I was convinced that God truly loves me. Not just because of the house he provided, but because He let His Son die for me.
When Jesus died on the cross, that was for me.
I no longer have to ask for evidence of whether God loves me. The "if you love me" prayers are not ones that God can answer. He has already given us unmistakeable evidence 2000 years ago.The crucifixion and the resurrection are historical facts that we can rest our faith on.
I pray "because you love me" prayers now because I know He really does love me.