Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. Let Israel say: “His love endures forever.” Let the house of Aaron say: “His love endures forever.” Let those who fear the Lord say: “His love endures forever.” (Psalm 118:1-4)
Who wants another story about God’s hesed?
Several years ago, Ron moved into my apartment. I didn’t know Ron all that well. We were familiar with one another, had several mutual friends, but weren’t close.
I did, however, know Ron’s girlfriend, Jenna. Ron and Jenna had been dating for some time, through college and now a year or so removed from college. I thought the two of them were pretty tight, as relationships go. In fact, Ron moved from his home state in the upper midwest to be close to his girlfriend here in New England. It’s why Ron asked to move into my vacant spare room in the first place.
About a month after Ron moved in, however, things went terribly wrong. I don’t recall the impetus, but he and Jenna had an argument as Jenna was in her car preparing to leave for her home.
Now, Jenna had a tendency, when things got heated, to shut down. Her coping mechanism for a really intense argument was to simply disengage. On the other hand, Ron could tolerate just about anything, except when he felt ignored.
So in the midst of this verbal tussle, Jenna closed up. She rolled up her window and began to drive off to escape the heated argument. Ron blew up, went into a rage. He jumped into his own car and sped off after his girlfriend. They raced across town, and as they flew down the two lane country road that led to Jenna’s home, Ron pulled up along side her car in the wrong lane, screaming at her through the window. Finally the two reached Jenna’s house. She fled inside while Ron pulled his car onto the lawn.
And that was the end of that relationship.
Separately, both Jenna and Ron sought counseling. They began to do the hard work of exploring their broken pasts, digging into the root causes of their destructive tendencies, and working with the Lord to straighten things out for themselves.
Again, this is where God’s hesed comes in. God’s love, His enduring faithfulness, is relentless in routing out the ugly in our lives, when we give Him room. And so it was, slowly, with both Ron and Jenna individually. As they encountered deep seated lies they had believed about themselves, God countered those with His truth, and these two slowly grew healthy.
Then, sometime later, these two who had loved each other deeply, even in their brokenness, found each other again. They had not spoken since their final explosion, but now they reconnected, with each of them better than they had been before.
If there’s anything that the Lord loves, its anything on earth that resembles or reflects His own heart and character. To say it in words my sister might use: God loves love. He’ll vindicate true enduring and sacrificial love–hesed–every time.
And so the Lord’s hesed took another form, after Ron and Jenna spent the time in getting well. He reunited them in a stronger union than they had ever had. They continued to see a counselor, both individually and together. A few months later, they were married, proclaiming a victory for the hesed that God had shown them how to model.