So, we’ve all heard that God is love, right? And that He loves everyone, despite anything that they have done? I know that, too—intellectually. With my mind, I know that God loves me. However, my heart has been singing a different, melancholy tune. This poses the question: Does God love me? Do I actually know that God loves me?
In the Old Testament, one particular Hebrew word for “heart” stuck out to me—“lebab.” Why does this language lesson matter? The synonyms that follow the definition for this specific Hebrew word are “mind” and “inner man.” This Hebrew word suggests that the two are completely intertwined, and one cannot be without the other. The heart is synced with the inner being and mind of a person. Hebrews believed that these two could not be separated.
Maybe the Hebrews were onto something.
Lately, I have struggled to marry the two: the head and the heart. This has caused my heart to become numb, to gradually stack bricks around the perimeter. Rather than extending my arm, offering my heart in hand to my Creator, I have hidden it behind my back. I have been convinced that God loves everyone else, but He has left me alone. This has contributed to a depression that I have never wanted to face.
Then, I discovered King David’s very own depression in a state of feeling all alone. And I finally found comfort in the fact that we are most certainly not the first to go through hardships such as this.
While reading through Psalm, I stumbled upon Psalm 13. King David’s fervently honest questions reflected my own:
“How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?” (Psalm 13:1)
“How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart?” (Psalm 13:2)
Even one of the most well-known people of the Old Testament has felt forgotten by his God.
Even someone from the line in which Jesus comes through has felt unloved by his Heavenly Father.
Even the king who has been a man after God’s heart has felt deep sorrow within his own.
Here’s where the Hebrew language lesson comes back into play (for those who were wondering)—
“But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.” (Psalm 13:5)
“I will sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been good to me.” (Psalm 13:6)
In between verses 4 and 5, the head and the heart finally meet. King David’s did not lose “lebab,” despite how sad his heart was. Although he felt forgotten and unloved—as Satan would love for you to continue to feel—he held onto God’s promise of His unfailing love and salvation.
I so badly want whoever else felt or is feeling like I did to gain encouragement from this. If you are someone who also takes off the crown you have inherited as a child of God, I encourage you to put it back on. Accept the love that He wants to lavish on us. Truly know that you are so dearly loved by our Father, and allow your heart to take part.
Start by simply doing what David did. Tell God how you feel, what you know to be true of Him, and ask Him to help you to know this in your heart. God does love me, and He loves you too. God is love. There’s nothing else He’d rather do than lovingly wrap you up in it.
words by Kayla Scott and photo by Ivy Hansen