Relentless by JW Kaiser
One of the most influential writers in my lifetime, Eugene Peterson, recently passed from serving Jesus here on Earth to being with Jesus in heaven. At his worship service celebrating his life, his son shared that for all his father’s writing and teaching, his consistent message that had shared with him daily were these simple and profound words:
“God loves you.
He is on your side.
He is coming after you.
He is relentless.”
The word “relentless” has haunted me since I read those words. If you have surfed significant waves before, then you are probably familiar with what the word “relentless” describes. Being held down by the wave energy, the sheer force that takes over in the situation that is out of your control is summed up by that simple word “relentless”. In surfing, that word is something to be feared and a situation to be avoided. I have to ask myself, if I am also trying to avoid the relentless pursuit and love of God in my life. Do we by nature want to resist anything that we have no control over? I’d rather stay away from the relentless waves of God’s pursuit. It feels safer on the shore without it.
But just as a relentless wave will not let up even if I wish it away, God does not need our permission to keep coming after us with a love we can not resist. Scripture proclaims that, “As I live and breath, says God, every knee will bow before me; every tongue confess that I and I alone are God.” (Phil 2:10)
God is coming after us with a relentless love because God is God and we are not and God wills it to be so.
The words of the song Reckless Love describe it this way:
There’s no shadow You won’t light up
Mountain You won’t climb up
Coming after me
There’s no wall You won’t kick down
Lie You won’t tear down
Coming after me
Join me in laying down our efforts to resist out of pride, fear or disbelief. In the relentless waters of an angry ocean we must fight to live. Against the relentless love of God, we must give up our lives so that we may live.