Anxiety,  Encouragement,  Soul Care

The Power of Loving Jesus

I’m about to release a book called Seen and Invited: Meeting Jesus on the Dusty Roads. The book walks through Jesus’s healings and interactions with people he met along the way–the blind he healed, the lepers he touched, the dead he raised.

The purpose of the book is simply to help readers see Jesus’s deep Shepherd love for us and to know that love is still ours today. The book is somewhat light on practical application. So, the question is does loving Jesus and understanding Jesus’s love for me help me travel the rough paths of my life?

Unfortunately, I got to test this in the past few weeks. During the same two-month period, my husband’s work division was slated to close, leaving him unemployed eight years before retirement, and I was diagnosed with a melanoma on my ear which will require surgery, an expensive biopsy, and possibly further treatment. All while insurance is absent or in flux.

As I write this, neither of those things have resolved. We are waiting. Waiting is hard. But while I’m waiting, I find myself constantly going back to the truths from my own book, and they’re holding true even in the midst of great unknowns.

Simply knowing the depth of Jesus’s love and care has helped me, and I thought I’d go through some of those thoughts here.

This hits the world 7/16/24

First, Jesus took a blind man by the hand and walked him away from the crowd to heal him. (Mark 8) That man needed to hear Jesus, and it wouldn’t happen on the road. Right now, when I feel overwhelmed, I know Jesus is here to take me aside. When I find a quiet place to lament, to pray, to cry if need be, I know from this passage that Jesus is willing to come into my weakness, take my hand personally and intimately, and stay with me until I am settled. He takes into consideration my limits, my humanity, my fears and exhaustion.

Jesus has the time and the patience to come into my pain and stay with me until it’s resolved. I love that.

Then we have the man whose son was possessed, and Jesus pointed out he needed faith in Mark 9. The man says he needs help not only with his son, but also with his faith. “I do believe; help me overcome my disbelief.” You know how Jesus handled this incomplete faith? He healed his son. Same with the bleeding woman who sneaked in to take advantage of Jesus’s power while hoping to avoid his notice because she didn’t trust his heart toward her. (Mark 5)

Imperfect faith

If my faith isn’t perfect, Jesus’s faith is. He is here to love me now, wherever I am. I don’t have to get things perfect before he’ll come for me. So when I pray with fear and doubt in my heart, he’s still here. He still moves in my favor and loves me. He still calls me daughter. I don’t have to pray perfect prayers or have perfect doctrine and theology.

It’s okay to say “I doubt this. I’m not sure you care or that you’re here listening to me.” He simply smiles, takes my hand, and his love and compassion work in me to heal my spirit and soul.

Jesus has the time and the patience to come into my pain and stay with me until it’s resolved. I love that.

Him, not me. Hallelujah!

How about the widow whose son was raised simply because Jesus had compassion on her–she didn’t ask, didn’t have faith, didn’t need to do a thing. (Luke 7) Some days I can’t do a thing, but that doesn’t stop Jesus from acting on his huge compassion for me. His compassion isn’t about what I can do for him. It’s fully internal, so I can’t mess it up with my human weaknesses, sin, fear, or doubt. Once he takes my hand, he doesn’t ever let go.

Take the hand he offers. He won’t drop you!

I never planned to put the premise of my book through quite this stringent a test, but now I know that, even without a five step plan for application, loving Jesus more deeply leads to peace, comfort, and trust during the hard moments of life.

And lets face it, hard moments are inevitable. But Jesus is close, and he holds on. He shows up, and he sees my weaknesses, and he loves me no less.

Interested in more about Jesus’s deep Shepherd love? Check out Seen and Invited: Meeting Jesus on the Dusty Roads.

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