These past few weeks have been a little hard for me. I’ve landed in Texas with a dream in my heart, but I’m still trying to figure out where I belong and how I fit here. I know it’s going to take some time – breathe in…breathe out. But one thing this move has caused me to do is to get back to basics: Who am I to Jesus, and who is Jesus to me? We may not think about these questions all too often, but I’m starting to think that we should. After all, if we don’t know the answers to these two simple questions, then can we really know what our life is supposed to be about?
So let’s take a little journey together to get back to basics and to answer these questions. This is going to be a little blog-post miniseries.
Welcome to episode one: Jesus Loves You (Like Really a Lot)
If you’re like me, you’ve grown up knowing about Jesus. “Jesus loves me” is not just a song, it’s something that you know in your head every day. But, also if you’re like me, you sometimes forget the deep reality of this truth because it’s just become too familiar.
However, this past weekend, I was given a big reminder of what “being Loved by Jesus” actually means…of what it looks like in reality.
On Sunday, the ministry my husband works for took over services at a local church to talk about the ministry. I came to the second service and was checking my kids in for Sunday school when someone suddenly came up behind me and embraced my shoulders. I was thinking, Whoa, who just grabbed me? Then I looked over and saw a dear friend. I knew she was going to be at the services that day. She lives out of town, but works for the same ministry as Benj and would be sharing at the service. I had just assumed I would be finding her, not vice versa. After all, I didn’t have anything particularly “important” to do at the service, and she did. But there she was, finding me and embracing me.
The next day, in the dark, wee hours of the morning where I spend my time with Jesus, I was thanking Him for the time I had gotten to spend with that friend the previous day. In that moment of thanks, it was like Jesus came into the room, grabbed my face, and with a huge grin and happy tears in His eyes said, “Gabi! This is how I love you! You’re looking for me. You keep thinking that it’s up to you to find me first because I’m God and have ‘so many important things to do’. But oh Gabi, I am always seeking you first. I am always looking for you. I will always find you first. I will always be so ready to surprise you with my embrace. I Love you so much, and I can’t wait to see you every day. I’m not going to wait for you to ‘figure out where I am’…no way! I have to find you first. I’m too excited to be with you. I’m too passionate about you. You are my HEART.”
Whoa. Seriously? I had not had this paradigm about God for a while (I honestly don’t know why!!). But oh how it broke down walls in my heart, these walls that I have been building of trying to be enough for God to maybe reach out to me and speak to me. But here He comes declaring that He’s been chasing me down all along. He sees me in the crowd, He longs for my heart, He runs after me so He can embrace me and be with me and know what’s on my heart. He so wants to hear what’s on my heart…
After my friend embraced me, she told me she wanted to spend time later hearing all about what was going on with me. I just looked at her kind of flabbergasted, like, why? She had just returned from a ministry trip to India, she was going to be doing ministry all morning, surely she needed her own debrief, surely she needed to just stop and be quiet and rest. But no – she insisted – she said, “Don’t argue with me!” She wanted to know what was going on with me.
Isn’t this the same with Christ? I’m always asking Him to show me His heart. I’m always trying to become better and better, to measure up so maybe He’ll allow me to carry a piece of His heart. And He loves that about me. But like with any friendship – don’t you actually feel safer offering sacred bits of your heart to someone who has let you see the sacred bits of theirs? Not that Jesus needs to feel safe, but He’s sitting there with His heart wildly beating to let Him in on all the sacred and broken and vulnerable places of your heart. After all, if we let Him in there, then He can leave His valuable treasures in those places along the way.
Oh Jesus, how You Love us! Like really a lot!! You’re chasing us down. You’re sitting and listening to us and loving our hearts, every single piece of them.
Let’s get back to basics. Let’s stop trying to go too deep into theology for just a second and let this truth envelop us. We are outrageously, overwhelmingly, incomparably, sincerely, deeply affectionately, fully, completely Loved and adored by our Savior.
I hope you’ll join me on this little journey back to the heart of our faith – knowing who Jesus is to us and who we are to Him.
Today, spend some time meditating on these scriptures:
· Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever. Psalm 23:6, NLT
· We love each other because he loved us first. 1 John 4:19, NLT
· For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will search and find my sheep. Ezekiel 4:11, NLT
· I am my beloved’s, And his desire is toward me. Song of Solomon 7:10, NKJV
· God will rejoice over you as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride. Isaiah 62:5b, NLT