Insert sappy title here
Appeals to sentimentality and inspirational memes and blog posts rarely attract me enough to cause me to click or read lately. I still haven’t watched the video of the autistic boy at a Coldplay concert, even though it’s popped up on my Facebook newsfeed a few times already and millions have had their heartstrings seriously tugged by it. I’m not sure why they don’t move me to respond, and I’m not saying it’s a good thing that they don’t. But good or bad, the reality is that a lot of what must surely bring comfort, hope and joy to others is just sappy to me.
So when I considered titling this post, “In the arms of Jesus” I immediately said to myself, No, no, no. Saaaa-pee! But if you’re going to talk about real, life-changing, unconditional love, it’s hard not to be sentimental and inspirational…and sappy. And particularly the greatest love of all, which I submit is not the love of oneself that George Benson and Whitney Houston sang about.
When I wrote my last post about being spiritually alive or dead I asked myself, what’s the main thing that would draw (to continue with the electric power analogy) a “current” nonbeliever to seek the source of life and power, God, and plug in to him? If one’s life is relatively “static” and happy and one feels well-charged-up, why do something as drastic as becoming connected and beholden to a power source one is unsure of and probably get tangled up with other parasitic, plug people in the process? If the reality of a steadily dropping charge indicator does not concern them, what would move them to seriously seek a stable, supernatural, supreme strength source? 🙂
Certainly we all have different backgrounds, needs, hangups and barriers to faith. But one thing we all have in common is the need and desire for real, lasting love. Our spouses and significant others may love us sincerely and deeply but they will inevitably disappoint us (and we, them), and some will leave us. Our children grow up and leave and we lose that childlike love and attachment that is so precious to a parent. And we have a sense that real love should be forever, but if there’s no God…there’s no everlasting love.
But there is a God, and my daily Bible reading yesterday set in front of me one of my favorite passages, and it’s what prompted this post.
And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him… – Mark 10:21
What Jesus said is important, and you can read it here, but what I love about this verse is that even though the man ends up rejecting Jesus, Jesus “loved him” with a compassionate love. Just before this interaction as recorded in Mark, Jesus indignantly rebukes his disciples for trying to keep children away from him, saying,
“Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” – Mark 10:14-15
And then he takes the little ones in his arms and blesses them.
Little children and unbelievers – two groups of people that can’t truly be said to love him back, Jesus loves. Do we have any reason to doubt his love for all of us? And since he knows us even better than we know ourselves and knows everything we have ever done or will do, why would he ever cease to love us perfectly?
One of if not the most read of all my blog posts is this one, about God’s love. People want and need real love and they search “God’s love” and a few land on my site. It’s a case for God’s love from reason alone, but we can know even more certainly from the testimony of God himself in the person of Jesus Christ.
I pray if you’ve not yet received the greatest love of all, know that though God loves you at this very moment, you must intentionally receive his love in order to experience and enjoy it. And when you do receive it, like a child, you are effectively in the arms of Jesus.
Sappy, I know. But true.