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Turn and Remember

If you see me barefoot in the yard on a chilly, thirty-degree afternoon, please don’t think I’m crazy. I keep shoes by the sliding door, unless the dog, Eloise, carries one to her basket of chew toys, and as we have no fence, several times a day I’m forced to accompany her outdoors. If I appear confused, I’m likely just mulling over a writing project or thinking up profound questions, like the one I’m about to ask. This particular question arrived as I lingered in a patch of weathered grass.

Do you grasp Jesus’s deep love for you?

You probably know Jesus mingled with a diverse crowd, so picture yourself standing on a hillside, there in the mix. Imagine the apprehension you might feel at the Son of God gazing in your direction, making eye contact, perceiving your very thoughts. By the Sea of Galilee, Simon Peter buckled to the ground in horror when Jesus, all-knowing, drew near. Nathaniel stood under a tree when spotted by Jesus and asked, “How do you know me?”

He knows because he’s God. Jesus is God—a big statement, but worth saying aloud. In Ephesians 3:19, we are invited to “know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge,” and to be “filled with all the fullness of God” (ESV).

At first, Jesus’s friends struggled to acknowledge Christ’s love for them. They considered Jesus their dear friend and teacher and suspected he was Lord and God, as did the crowds of people who listened to him teach. On several occasions, as the disciples traveled with Jesus during his three-year ministry on foot, their words demonstrated knowledge from the Holy Spirit that Jesus was to be worshiped. Did they grasp his love and affection for them? When Jesus was killed—crucified, as the punishment was for claiming to be God—the disciples, confused, dispersed to hide.

But now, consider the love of Christ when the resurrected Jesus, alive after three days in the tomb, again approached the disciples. As they fished from a boat on the Sea of Galilee, Jesus called to them from the shore while cooking a meal over a charcoal fire. “Come and have breakfast,” he said (John 21:12). Peter jumped from his fishing boat and swam to Jesus who was awaiting him. “Follow Me,” said Jesus to the very friend who denied knowing him just before he was crucified. Jesus Christ’s deep love remained unhindered by Peter’s disloyalty and unbelief.

Like Peter, Jesus knows you, and the same measure of his love can be yours.

When I questioned if Jesus’s love was for me, I searched my Bible—anticipating abandonment yet hoping for acceptance. Peter’s story helped morph my tears of despair into tears of repentance that carried me toward Jesus.

At the cross, Jesus canceled the list of our sins—yours and mine, against a holy and perfect God—and gifted us with himself. When he suffered and died for sins he didn’t commit, we were granted friendship with God, and in love he calls to us.

From my yard, I lingered in the sun and felt its rays. It was thirty degrees, yet a pale blue sky peeled back to show the sun. Had I rushed, telling Eloise, “Hurry up. C’mon,” the sunbeams may have gone unnoticed by me. But the blades of grass, desperate for winter’s end, would’ve stretched to reach the soft glow.

Have you ever paused and lingered in a warming sunbeam?

If your sin, like shadows, blocks you from inching toward the light of Christ’s love, turn and remember—Jesus came and found his friends who hid and doubted. His love is yours and mine to grasp. Bask in it today.



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