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“Nothing can separate us from God’s love”

May 19, 2023

Daily Scripture

Romans 8:28, 35-39

28 We know that God works all things together for good for the ones who love God, for those who are called according to his purpose.

35 Who will separate us from Christ’s love? Will we be separated by trouble, or distress, or harassment, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written,
We are being put to death all day long for your sake.
    We are treated like sheep for slaughter [Psalm 44:22].
37 But in all these things we win a sweeping victory through the one who loved us. 38 I’m convinced that nothing can separate us from God’s love in Christ Jesus our Lord: not death or life, not angels or rulers, not present things or future things, not powers 39 or height or depth, or any other thing that is created.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

The apostle Paul did not believe God caused evil things, but he knew they would happen. “Trouble, or distress, or harassment, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword”—he’d faced all these and listed them here. Yet his list was not a complaint. He wrote it to say, “In all these things we win a sweeping victory through the one who loved us” (verse 37). No matter what life throws at us, we can march with Paul and a long line of believers in God’s eternal victory parade.

  • Paul asked a compelling question: “Who will separate us from Christ’s love?” The Greek wording of the question assumed that the answer was “Nobody and nothing!” What situations are most likely to leave you feeling separated from God’s love? What spiritual “anchors” keep you connected to God’s love, hope, and peace even when times get difficult?
  • Today’s reading did NOT say, as people sometimes think, that “all things” are good—they’re not. It said God, who is always good, can take even painful and difficult things and bend them to serve a good purpose, if we are willing to put them in God’s hands. Can you look back and see times when God has brought good out of hard things you have faced? What are you facing right now that is painful, frustrating or scary?

All-powerful God, whatever comes my way, hold me close in the shelter of your love. Thank you that, through you, I can win a sweeping victory in “all these things.” Amen.

GPS Insights

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Lauren Cook

Lauren Cook is the Entry Points Program Director at Resurrection, a self-proclaimed foodie, a bookworm, and is always planning her next trip. She has the sweetest (and sassiest) daughter, Carolina Rae, a rockstar husband, Austin, and a cutie pup named Thunder. She loves connecting with others so let her know the best place you've ever eaten, best book you've ever read, or best place you've ever been!

I mentioned just last month how God tends to meet me exactly where I am when I seek Him, and today is no different. As I write this, I’m coming close to the anniversary of a year that has been full of pain and frustration and fear. One year ago, my mother went to the hospital with a stomachache and never came home. Within one week, we found out she had pancreatic cancer and 48 hours after that, she was gone. That same week, I had a job change and my little family got COVID for our first time. It was a lot, to say the least, but it also set into motion even more.

My mother was an absolutely incredible person in so many ways, but she also struggled in a lot of ways. When I was in elementary school, she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition characterized by extreme mood swings from emotional highs, mania, to emotional lows, depression. These swings meant that we had to be very aware and ready to react in various ways based on the situation. My life was built around my mom, trying to care for her and help her while also protecting her when she sought out harmful coping mechanisms. When she was suddenly gone, though, the axis I spun on was also gone.

The past year has been challenging as I have navigated complex grief but also navigated somewhat of an identity crisis. Who was I if I wasn’t the daughter taking care of all the things? Who was I if my choices weren’t centered around my life experience to date? Who was I by myself?

These are scary questions to face. The process of answering them has been frustrating and the grief has been painful. I felt wildly alone and lost for a time. As I close out this year, I can’t say my questions are completely answered yet, I can’t say my grief has gone away, and I can’t say that I’m not still wrestling with God on some things or that I don’t sometimes feel alone. However, as I look back upon the year and reflect, I see God.

I see God in the people He sent to walk alongside me. I see God in the church home He gave me to be my safe place. I see God in my daughter who has helped me to remember all the wonderful things about MiMi and about the world. I see God in the sun that continues to rise every morning. I feel God in the moments of joy. I feel God when I get to come to a place I love to do ministry every day. I feel God working in my heart, healing the broken pieces and creating in me a new spirit and new self with each passing day.

While there have been hard things for me, and hard things for you, there are also good things. You will never be left behind or separated from the One who loves you beyond measure and who works for you. Just in case you’re still a little lost in the hard, I will leave you with the words of Lauren Daigle that spoke to me just this morning:

“You are not hidden. There’s never been a moment you were forgotten. You are not hopeless, though you have been broken, your innocence stolen. I hear you whisper underneath your breath, I hear your SOS. I will send out an army to find you, in the middle of the darkest night, it’s true, I will rescue you. There is no distance that cannot be covered over and over. You’re not defenseless, I’ll be your shelter, I’ll be your armor.” *

Sending you hope,

* Click here to hear Lauren Daigle’s song “Rescue.”

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Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.