Rejecting | “Nothing takes the taste out of peanut butter,” said Charlie Brown, “quite like unrequited love” . Sylvia Plath mourned it as a loss: “When you give someone your whole heart and he doesn’t want it, you cannot take it back. It’s gone forever” . Goethe’s young Werther became seriously depressed when Charlotte didn’t love him back: “I have so much, and without her it all comes to nothing” . Miss Piggy advises patience: “Only time can heal your broken heart, just as only time can heal his broken arms and legs” .
Continuing | Although most of us know the feeling of unrequited love, we often forget that the Lord knows it, too. Under the old covenant, His people constantly rejected Him. As He lamented, “When Israel was a child, I loved him; out of Egypt I called my son. The more they were called, the more they went away … I led them with cords of kindness, with the bands of love … My people are bent on turning away from me” . Then, “when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son … so that we might receive adoption as sons” . But we betrayed and murdered him, too .
Convincing | Yet we do not worship a God who says, “I love you,” only when He knows that He’ll hear it back. He doesn’t shy away from expressing His love for His beloved. Instead, He speaks again and again – “in many times and in many ways”  – so that we will know and believe. His constant goal is to make sure that we know that we are co-heirs with Christ. As the writer of Hebrews put it, “When God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things [the promise and the oath], in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us” .
Prayer | Lord, You have demonstrated your love for us in that, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us . Thank you for not withholding your love from us and, instead, working to convince us that we are heirs of the promise and beneficiaries of the oath. Help us hold fast to our hope in Christ. Amen.
 Charles Schultz, Peanuts. Image: here. |  Elizabeth Sigmund, “Sylvia in Devon: 1962,” in Sylvia Plath: the Woman and the Work, edited by Edward Butscher (Dodd, Mead, 1977), p. 108. |  Goethe, Jjohann Wolfgang von. The Sorrows of Young Werther. New York: Random House, Inc., 1971. |  Miss Piggy’s Guide to Life. See: here. |  Hosea 11:1-2, 4, 7 ESV |  Gal. 4:4, 5 ESV |  See Acts 7:51-52; Acts 2:23. |  Heb. 1:1 ESV |  Heb. 6:17-18 ESV |  Rom. 5:8 ESV