"They’ll Never Love You Like I Can"
Have you ever listened to a popular song on the radio that just really hits you? Its meaning is deeper than even the artist really understands and it just speaks to your soul and spirit? That’s what I’ve been feeling lately through Sam’s Smith new song “Like I Can”
Why are you looking down all the wrong roads?
When mine is the heart and the salt of your soul
There may be lovers who hold out their hands
But they’ll never love you like I can, can, can
They’ll never love you like I can, can
Wow, how romantic … the new wedding song of the year! Not only is Sam Smith’s voice smooth and the tune a catchy ballad, but what an incredible thing to be able to tell someone: “No one will love you like I can.” What a profound promise! Sam Smith may not even realize the depth of the truth that he is singing.
As I kept hearing this song on the radio, I really felt the Lord speaking to my heart through it. I know it sounds crazy, but God’s Word does say that “The LORD your God…will quiet you by His love, and will rejoice over you with singing,” (Zeph. 3:7) and that God will “put a new song in my mouth” (Ps. 40:3). These verses echoed in my heart and I felt the voice of God singing this over me: “Erin, all the things, ideas and people you chase after… they’ll never love you like I can.” There are so many “lovers” and distractions that tempt to pull us away in this world, but the Lord keeps telling us, “Why are you looking down all the wrong roads for fulfillment; none of that will ever fulfill and no human being will ever love you like I can!”
God told His people this repeatedly in the Old Testament when the Israelites would run after other gods and idols: “They bow down and worship an idol…they set it up in its place, and there it stands. Even though someone cries out to it, it cannot answer; it cannot save them from their troubles. …Though others may forget, I [the Lord] will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of My hands.” (Isaiah 46:6-7 & 49:15)
We may not run after golden and bronze idols anymore, but there are plenty of things that vie for our worship, love and attention.
Let’s take a look at someone’s story in the Bible that might be easier to identify with. Hosea was a man who heard from God and gave those direct messages to the Israelites. See, God has always wanted to communicate with His people, and even though God had brought the Israelites out of slavery, shown them amazing miracles on their behalf and had made a promised to love and provide for them, they still worshiped other gods.
God wanted to show them just what they were doing so He decided to send a visual image, if you will; He asked Hosea to take a prostitute to be his wife and to love her unconditionally, even when she would run away and whore herself out to other lovers and men who treated her poorly. Doesn’t sound like the kind of heavenly mission anyone would want to sign up for, but Hosea did it so the people would see what they were doing to God. In the midst of this visual picture, the people of Israel realized their mistake:
“She will chase after her lovers but not catch them;
she will look for them but not find them.
Then she will say,
‘I will go back to my husband as at first,
for then I was better off than now. …
And the Lord said ‘Therefore I am now going to allure her;
I will lead her into the wilderness
and speak tenderly to her….
you will call me ‘my husband’;
you will no longer call me ‘my master….
I, the Lord, led them with cords of human kindness,
with ties of love.” ~ Hosea 2:7, 14, 16 & 11:4
Hosea loved his wife as any of us would want to be loved…unconditionally and completely, because he was showing a bigger picture of God’s love for His people. Who wouldn’t want to be loved like that?!
In a culture where our worthiness to be loved is measured by our appearance, and our success by how much money and fame we’ve accumulated, we are a people that long to know true love. We chase whatever and whoever can make us feel loved and valued, even for a little while. And yet the very God who made us and knows us completely has already proven to us and told us that He loves us with His very life.
We already have a perfect husband, someone who pursues us, loves us with a perfect love (1 Cor. 13:1-13), will never reject us (Rom 8:38-39), who gave His very life for us (Rom 5:8). He is the perfect friend, husband, and father…yet we look to others to fill those voids.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not at all saying we don’t need those people in our lives – God created friendship, family and marriage for that very purpose. But what would happen if, instead of trying to have those people meet our expectations, we ran to God first?
We are asking imperfect people to perfectly meet our needs, when we have a perfect God who already can.
So I challenge myself and everyone else reading this blog: When we feel utterly alone, unvalued or unloved, instead of running to other imperfect people, why not run to the God who passionately loves us?
Ask the Lover of your soul to meet these longings in the way that only He can. That could mean He shows you love and comfort from someone completely unexpected in that moment, or from those you are closest to, or from His very presence and the promises of love that we find from Him in the Scriptures.
So when you’re flipping through the radio and you hear that sweet ballad, think of it from this perspective: God is singing over you, reminding you…“No one can love you like I can.”