I’ve been a Christian for 30+ years, but have increasingly struggled to believe that God necessarily loves me. It may be due to my upbringing and background- I don’t think I’ve ever experienced real, unconditional love. In fact I don’t think I had any idea what that even was until I laid eyes on my newborn son for the first time. I have frequently heard Christians insist that in place of “the world” in John 3:16, I can plug in my own name and the verse remains true. Similar assertions are often made relative to other biblical promises. While I would certainly like to believe this to be true, I’ve never heard anyone offer any real solid biblical support for such a claim. It seems reasonable to me that the phrase “God so loved the world” may be analogous to my saying “I love my country”. In truth I do love my country, but that’s very different from saying “I love every single individual in my country (including every mass-murderer and child abuser)”. Ps 136:10 is one of many OT examples that seems very hard to reconcile with the notion of a God who loves universally: to him who struck down the firstborn of EgyptHis love endures forever. What do we do with the thought of probably thousands of parents experiencing overwhelming anquish and grief in Egypt? Did God not love those whose children he struck down? I hope God will forgive my doubts, but I’m really having a hard time with this.