I don’t always believe that Jesus loves me – even though the bible tells me so.
Oh, I know that Jesus loves me – in a “whole world in his hands” kind of way. But do I believe that he loves ME? That he sees ME? That seems impossible.
It’s this thorn in my side, this snag in my otherwise fairly confident faith – which is interesting, since the love of God is what the gospel is centered on. When I have a hard time trusting the central truth of the Christian faith, it has a ripple effect on the other things that I believe.
I find myself swinging like a pendulum between an inflated sense of self-importance and a groveling sense of shame. Driven by a strong need for justice, I still buy into the lie that I can earn my worth, and that if I don’t secure my merit by my own accomplishment, then I’m done for. I miss the whole grace thing, over and over again – and then just beat myself up for being a loser.
It’s hard to believe something that I can’t feel.
But lately, I’ve been coming back to that passage in Matthew 6 where Jesus talks about the birds of the air, and how they soar and glide and don’t worry about their lives because they are provided for – and that if God loves them, how much more does he love you and me? For some reason, that has felt like a good line of reasoning – something that I could latch on to – and so a few weeks ago, I prayed that God would help me remember that.
Specifically, I prayed for a visual reminder of that truth.
And last week, I received a birthday package in the mail.
Greta’s note was short and sweet, simply saying that she knew that this was an enormously impractical gift, but that she saw it and just wanted to send it to me. I unwrapped it, and found a doorknob.
It took me a second to put it together – because there’s no way she could have known. Why on earth would she have sent me a doorknob – especially when I don’t even have a bedroom door?
But when the pieces fell into place, my heart almost burst.
Because the love of God will open the door and set me free.