“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:35, 38-39 NIV).
Friend To Friend
It was the first anniversary of the terrorist bombing of September 11, 2001. The rubble from the World Trade Center had been cleared and the Pentagon repaired, but men and women all across America still mourned the 3,000 lives that were lost on that dark day. In my hometown, a memorial was set up on an expanse of land with a sea of twelve-inch white crosses representing the men and women who died.
Kathy and her family went to see the memorial. Along with her seventeen-year-old daughter, Heather, Kathy took along her three-year-old niece, Taylor. It was difficult for young Taylor to understand exactly what was going on and why so many people were sad, but she obediently walked hand-in-hand with her cousin between the tiny crosses. At some point, little Taylor wandered away from her family.
It was reverently silent as the crowd of mourners looked at the names inscribed on the white memorials. Some crosses were decorated with flowers, others with Teddy Bears or other memorabilia, but nothing spoke more poignantly than the silence broken by quiet sobs. Then, as if coming directly from heaven, a small voice could be heard floating on the breeze. Everyone turned to notice a little girl with outstretched arms twirling in circles among the crosses.
With face lifted toward the sky, she sang…
“Jesus loves me, this I know.
For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong.
We are weak but He is strong.
Yes, Jesus loves me.
Yes, Jesus loves me.
Yes, Jesus loves me.
The Bible tells me so.”
Time seemed to stand still as hundreds of mourners turned their attention to one small girl with a big message. Even in the midst of pain, even with the loss of life, loss of dreams, and loss of hope… Jesus still loves us. That love can lift the burden of despair, resurrect our dreams, and restore our hope.
In 2 Corinthians 4:6-9 Paul reminds us: “For God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
Jesus loves me…this I know.
Dear Lord, today I remember all the men and women who died in the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001. I also think of the difficulties in my own life. Thank You that no matter what my outward circumstances may be, the fact that Jesus loves me will never be shattered or shaken. You, O LORD, are the constant in my life and You are the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Jesus loves me, this I know.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
When was a time in your life that you have felt overcome with the gravity of a difficult situation?
How did the knowledge of God’s unchanging, unfailing love give you comfort?
Perhaps you are in the middle of such a situation at this very moment. Are you willing, as the little girl in this story, to open your arms to God and sing, “Jesus loves me this I know?” Why don’t you stop right now where you are and sing that chorus to God.
Today’s devotion was taken from Sharon’s book; . If you would like to learn more about turning your pain into purpose and your hurt into hope, this book can help you on your journey to wholeness and healing
H-m-m… Scars that are beautiful to God. I wonder about that–though, to be fair, I haven’t read the book.
All scars represent a defacing and deforming of what God made. They are caused–either directly, or indirectly–by sin. It would seem to me our scars grieve the heart of a loving God, as the Lord Jesus wept at the tomb of Lazarus, in part because of the pain behind them. And because He knows that, until the dawning of eternity, there are more pains and more scars to come.
Yes, the Lord is able to give “beauty for ashes.” And He is able to give us the wisdom to see the struggles we have come through as tools He can use for our own maturing, and for a broadening of our ministry to others. But that is not the same thing. “Yes, Jesus loves me!” But not because of my scars, in spite of them.
One further thought. A thing that is “beautiful” is delightful and attractive. And we know that the resurrection body of Christ still bore the scars of Calvary–as it seems it will through all eternity. Our scars will surely be gone forever then. But the Lord’s will remain, a forever reminder of what our salvation cost. And it could be that out of love for the Saviour and what He did for us, His scars will have an aura of beauty for us.
Thanks for stirring up my thinking at this early hour. It was your quotation of Anna Warner’s hymn that caught my eye originally. (I have a daily blog on hymns, and today is the 186th anniversary of her birth.) God bless.