“Beloved, we are God’s children now.” (1 John 3:2)
These words have been in my head lately, as an antidote to things I have believed and still believe at times.
I was a major loner in middle school and high school, and I dreaded Sunday mornings when my peers in Sunday school all seemed so glad to be there. It seemed to all came so easy for them, chatting with each other and following the Lord, and somehow through that sense of great loneliness, God became connected to my own self rejection.
In those days, the gospel to me went perhaps something like this: you deserve a bloody death, but God, somehow, out of his great mercy, sent his son to intervene. Be grateful.
In fear, I read pages of the Bible that made me weep, for sinners like me who drowned in the flood, for ones struck down in the desert, and everyone who would presumably burn in the lake of fire because they didn’t know Jesus’ name.
For a while, I counted myself among the likely damned, unable to muster a love for this God of whom I was so very afraid.