I have battled so many things but the biggest was accepting the love that Jesus had for me. I just couldn’t grasp it! I knew I loved Jesus but I was having a hard time accepting His love for me. In the New Testament, you see Jesus doing life with his disciples. He ate with them, performed miracles with them, taught with them, loved them and shared life with them. He poured himself into them. He had relationships with each man. He knew their strengths and weaknesses and loved them through all their mistakes and issues. He never gave up on them.
Jesus touched people all the time and after He touched them they were different. He might have been the only one to ever touch the blind, deaf, demon-possessed, bleeding and the lepers. He wasn’t afraid to be with the outcast. He gravitated toward them. He knew they needed Him. Can you imagine being given up on and rejected by society and never being touched by anyone and then one day a man named Jesus comes and touches you and you are never the same again?
I really didn’t think about these things until I started studying “The Beloved Disciple” by Beth Moore. This study is about the book of John. There were two things that really stood out to me. One was that John called himself the beloved disciple. At first I thought that was awfully conceited of him to call himself the beloved one. I struggled with John until I realized that he said that because he knew that Christ loved him no matter what. He didn’t doubt it. The other thing about John was the fact that he was so confident of Christ’s love that he leaned against Him during their last supper together. I know some of you are thinking that this isn’t a big deal, but to me it was a huge deal! I was finally beginning to see Jesus as the loving savior that He is.
Because of my father’s angry nature, I didn’t receive hugs on a daily basis. To be completely honest, I cringed when he came near me. His touch usually had something to do with punishment. My Mom was great about showing affection, but my Dad wasn’t. His lack of showing me love had a huge impact on me. I desperately wanted his touch to be kind but it usually wasn’t. My Dad’s hands scared me. You never knew what he would do. He would either hit or throw things with them. That is why I tried to steer clear of those hands.
For the first time in my life, I was beginning to see things in a new light. I literally closed my eyes and asked Jesus to help me see Him correctly. I saw Him ministering to others with love and compassion. I pictured him touching others and healing them. I saw him picking up children and laughing and playing with them. I was in my forties before I was able to do this! I was seeing Jesus for the first time in my life the way He wanted me to see Him.
My head knew that Jesus loved me, but my heart hadn’t accepted it. I was pushing Him away by not believing how much He loved me. I needed to be free from self-condemnation. I wasn’t allowing his touch to make me feel accepted. I wasn’t allowing his love to overcome my feelings of condemnation. I was allowing my feelings of rejection by my father to rule me. Being touched by Jesus is meant to change us and I wasn’t allowing the change to happen because I didn’t feel worthy.
I journaled, “Okay Lord. I feel so unworthy and unfamiliar with this concept of allowing you to love me. I need your help! I look at John and see that he knew that you loved him beyond a shadow of doubt. He claimed your love for him by calling himself the beloved disciple. I need to claim your love for me. I need to accept it. I know I put up barriers. Please break them down for me. It is so much easier for me to go into performance mode, than rest in your love for me because I felt like I need to prove myself to you. I am sorry.”
This was a breakthrough for me. I knew that I needed to be like John and claim that Jesus loved me and rest my head on his shoulder like John did. I didn’t need to be afraid of Him. His touch was healing, not destructive. Beth Moore pointed to this scripture in the study.
Deuteronomy 33:12 “Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in Him, for He shields them all day long, and the one the Lord loves rests between His shoulders.”
I want to scream right now because that verse deals with the two things I was struggling with; love and leaning on Jesus.(I kind of get excited when things like this happen.) I was blown away! I know that this might sound weird to some of you, but I needed to have a visual of the kind of man that Jesus was. He loved children. When He sat down, kids would come and sit on his lap. He healed, He prayed, He ate, He touched, He laughed and smiled. He knew if I was ever going to have the right view of Him, I needed to see Him that way. He led his followers with love and affection. He did everything from a heart filled with love.
The first song I learned in Sunday School was “Jesus Loves Me”. That little girl inside me can now sing the words and believe them. I invite you to sing a long with me. Sing it loud so everyone else can hear you! Until next time fellow sojourners!
Jesus loves me. This I know.
For the Bible tells me so;
Little ones to Him belong;
They are weak, but He is strong.
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
The Bible tells me so.