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We all know we can’t please everyone all the time. It’s something we learn in preschool – everybody won’t want to be your friend – and it’s such a simple fact it seems almost silly to write.

But if it’s such a well-accepted fact, why is it that when we come face-to-face again with it – in someone’s cold handshake or their attempts to keep us further than arm’s length away – why is it that the 100th time hurts just as much as the first day in play school?

I went to bed last night with my heart mulling on that question. Knowing there is nothing I can do to change people’s opinions, yet dearly wishing I could. Whimpering a little as I drifted off.

This morning, the first morning in a beautiful city nestled high up in Himalayan foothills, I awake to a fierce thunderstorm. Hail pounding on the tin roof makes it impossible to fall back asleep or even think straight. Thirty feet outside my door disappears into fog and driving rain. “God,” I gripe, “On the first morning I can really sleep in, was hail really necessary?”

He returns by singing.

He is jealous for me.
Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree.
Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy.
(from David Crowder’s How He Loves)

Suddenly it’s as if the hail is pounding into my body, the rain drenching me. It’s as if I can feel myself being assaulted by the relentless, furious love of a God who died for me. In whose grace I’m drowning.

And suddenly it doesn’t matter that so-and-so doesn’t like me. It still hurts, but it doesn’t matter. It won’t define me.

Because, oh, how He loves.