Then you will be empowered to discover what every holy one experiences—the great magnitude of the astonishing love of Christ in all its dimensions. How deeply intimate and far-reaching is his love! How enduring and inclusive it is! Endless love beyond measurement that transcends our understanding—this extravagant love pours into you until you are filled to overflowing with the fullness of God! Ephesians 3:18,19 The Passion Translation
It was a God-ordained moment that August morning in 2005. A rare moment when my mother and I were completely alone in her hospital room. No doctors prognosticating. No nurses prodding. No visitors praying. Just the two of us, engulfed in God’s peace. A moment-–poignant and precious—that I will always hold in my heart.
I gingerly climbed in the bed with Mommy and snuggled close. She was tired. She hadn’t slept for days as if she knew that if she closed her eyes, she’d awaken in the Presence of God. Not that she was afraid of death; she wasn’t. She’d seen beyond this earthly place and knew Who awaited her. All she needed to know now was that I’d be OK.
I snuggled closer and began singing:
Jesus, loves me this I know;
For the Bible tells me so;
Little ones to Him belong;
They are weak, but He is strong.
Mom shifted in the bed. I continued:
Yes, Jesus loves me;
Yes, Jesus loves me. . .
She looked at me with knowing and sang, her voice weak and a bit raspy,
Yes, Jesus loves me; the Bible tells me so.
The demon Alzheimer’s Disease had stolen so many memories from my mother, but it had not been able to rob her of this truth: Jesus loved her! She had come to know God’s eternal, unconditional, ever-embracing love beyond the words she’d read in the Bible, beyond the lyrics of a simple hymn. She’d encountered Love Himself and grown to know through experience the love that passes knowledge. This Love had tethered her to all that was true, had buoyed her in troubled waters, had sustained her through loss, had guided her, had shaped her, had kept her. She’d learned in her 88 years to rest in Love. She’d allowed Him full reign, allowed Him to so fill her with all He is that she was transformed by His love. She had allowed Him to become the Source that she lived and loved from.
That is God’s desire for all of us. His Love is not something we give mere mental assent to. Love is a Person we open ourselves up to. We can only truly know Him through a personal encounter, and once we have encountered Love, we’re never the same. We are forever anchored in Him. He becomes our life, our strength, our dwelling place. And as we allow the Love that is God to be made perfect in us, we have no need to fear anything–not God, not man, not life, not death. We are free to live and free to love.
That Love is the power that keeps us and moors us to truth, the truth of Who God is and who we are in Him. We are empowered by love to become all God created us to be. We live in and from the assurance that Love never wanes, never shifts, never fails, never forsakes. It is everlasting, unchanging, incomparable, life-giving because God is everlasting, unchanging, incomparable, life-giving. And God is Love. His is the truest love you and I can ever know. And all we have to do is receive it!
Yes, Jesus loves me! This I know! I sing these words with a great sense of awe and gratitude. I know it is true, not only because the Bible tells me, but because I have encountered Love in profound ways, have been overwhelmed by Him, and I am forever changed.
As we celebrate this month dedicated to love, may you know the Love that passes knowledge, dwell in Love, be filled with Love to overflowing, and be eternally changed!
I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us. Romans 8:38,39 The Message