“If I were hungry, I would not tell you,
for the world and its fullness are mine. (Psalm 50:12)
God owns everything. He is the Creator of the universe. From the furthest burning star, to the smallest speck of dust, he created all things and so he owns all things. He is entitled to all things he has created. The world and its fullness belongs to God.
Oh, but the mystery of love. Love stands out above the rest (1 Cor. 13:13). Was love created by God? In a sense, no, because God is love and he is uncreated. But his love was made known to us, the most extravagant and explicit demonstrations of it on the cross of Jesus Christ. Love sets us apart from all other creatures in the world. I think this is proof that we are made in the image of God (Gen. 1:27) - the fact that we have the mental and emotional capabilities to love. Imagine a world without any display of love! How cold and lonely and destructive .. This is a world without God.
Does God own love? Does God have a monopoly on the dealings of love all around the world today? I think it’s safe to say that all traces of love, whether big or small, is only made possible because of God. Even though people don’t know God personally they are still made in the image of God (although fallen) and so when we give and receive love it’s evidence that God is still our creator.
However, can love be controlled? Does God, like a puppeteer, sit in heaven controlling love? I mean, he is Love, but does he control it?
It’s hard to give an all-encompassing answer to this question. But for the purposes of the point I’m trying to drive home I’m saying no, God does not “control” love. I think he could, but he chooses not to. The fact that God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, and the fact that the whole world has not responded to such love, brings me to the overwhelming reality that God, who is love, is the greatest victim of unrequited love.
I remember hearing of this concept of unrequited love first in the film, ‘The Holiday’. The movie begins with a woman called Iris Simpkins (Kate Winslet), a writer of a wedding column in a newspaper, who is experiencing the tragedy of un-returned love by a man that works in the same newspaper as her. Tragic irony for a wedding column newspaper writer. But what’s even more tragic is that she’s way more amazing that he is. Like, really.
And so I’m reminded how God is like Kate Winslet and I am like that man who would not return my love to someone who is so much more worthy. Moreover, I’m reminded of how amazing it is that God who truly owns everything would choose not to monopolise love in order that we may see how amazing this God is and thereby give our volitional love to him. You need not force my hand if I am willingly compelled.
And I think this is the bit that get’s exciting: if God owns everything, what can I offer to him?
And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. (Matthew 22:37-38)
Love! I can offer God my unique love. No one can love God the exact same way that I love God. No one! Not one person in the billions of people that have come and gone! In all the vanity of vanities of life I know that this is the one thing that is the most precious to him. It’s the thing that God cares about the most. It’s the command which he calls the great and first. And since he created me and knows me so well, it would benefit me much to pay attention to what he thinks that I should do with my life.
And so, God, I will dedicate my life to give you that which you desire the most. Your love to me will not be unrequited.