“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord”— Romans 8:37-39 (NIV).
Standing on Seventh Street in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the man was holding up a sign. The “Tulsa World” photographer who snapped the photo of him said it was nothing new. It’s quite common to see someone standing on the side of the road holding a sign. In this case, however, the man holding the large sign was not asking for anything. Not food. Not money. Not a job. Nothing.
It was the man’s simple message that drew the photographer’s attention and led him to interview the holder of the white cardboard placard. Written in bold, black lettering were three simple words: Love Never Fails.
When questioned about the sign, he freely admitted suffering from bipolar disorder. He told the reporter he holds the sign while repeatedly reciting The Lord’s Prayer quietly to himself. “It’s selfish,” he said, “because it puts me in a state of serenity.”
He added, “It’s like a mantra.”
No matter what storm you face, you need to know that God loves you.
While some people stop and give him money, he told the journalist that isn’t why he does it. He has a job at a fast-food restaurant and he’s not homeless.
The photo and story, appearing in a December issue of the newspaper, has stayed with me. I clipped and saved it. If you saw the photo, you would see what I see on the man’s face—a presence of peace blanketed over him in love.
The photo and this man’s story reminded me of Zephaniah 3:17: “The Lord your God is in your midst—a warrior bringing victory. He will create calm with his love; he will rejoice over you with singing.”
Franklin Graham, son of the famous evangelist Billy Graham, said, “No matter what storm you face, you need to know that God loves you. He has not abandoned you.”
Romans 8:37-39 is another wonderful reminder of God’s love for us. Reread it above to remind yourself of “how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.” (Ephesians 3:18)
Even in the deepest pits of Hell, survivors of the Holocaust as well as American POWs have recounted how God’s love saw them through the darkest of days. In his book, “Things We Couldn’t Say,” Holocaust survivor Diet Eman wrote, “I had no real communication with anyone at the time, so I was totally dependent on God. And He never failed me.”
Even when we fail God—and we have and will—He still loves us. I never understood this unconditional love until I became a parent. Even though my sons have disappointed me at times, I’ve never stopped loving them. Our relationship with God is just like that. His love never fails.