Read: Romans 5:1-11

. . . but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (v. 8)

“Nuthin.” He spoke gruffly, his heavy Dutch accent betraying his resignation. “She don’t say nuthin.” For eleven years, Johanna has been in a trance-like sleep. For eleven years, Sam has sat by her bedside, taken her hand, and stroked her silver-streaked hair. Repeatedly he speaks softly to “Mama” about the love they once shared, knowing she can no longer reciprocate.

Faithful to the end, Sam has adored his bride—“till death do us part.” His faithful devotion surpasses any human achievement Johanna might have attained in her life to merit such love. But merit is not the issue. None of us could ever earn this type of love, yet how closely it resembles the Father’s faithful love for us. None of us deserves that, either. Romans 5:6 says we too were at our weakest when Jesus died for us: completely and utterly sinful. But God demonstrated his love for us in the most powerful way when Christ laid down his life on our behalf (v. 7). All he asks in return is that we respond to him in love.

How often has our Lord, like Sam, called out “I love you!”—aching to hear us, his beloved, return those precious words. How often do we lie, like Johanna, comatose and unresponsive? Jesus patiently, faithfully waits . . . Wake up! Respond—“I love you, too, Lord!” — Tammy De Ruyter

Prayer: Gracious God, thank you for your faithful love. Teach us to love you in return.