"I still have many things to say to you..."
Di, I have many things to say to you.
The words jump off the page of my Bible and straight into my heart. His words take my breath away.
Me? You have many things to say to me?
I burrow deeper into my big white chair, curling my legs under me. I pour a cup of tea, I’m listening now. On my lap my journal jockeys for position with my Bible. I hold a pen, poised and ready. If God actually has many things to say to me isn’t it best that I write down what He says?
And then I go back and read the whole of what John wrote. I want to know exactly what Jesus said. I want to make sure that His words are for me, for us, for every one of His followers. And I want to make sure I’m listening to Him—for what He has to say, not for what I want to hear. I need His words this morning, not my own, not anyone else’s— His.
I have the audacity to believe God speaks to those who lean in to listen.
I still have many things to say to you,
But you cannot bear them now.
When the Spirit of truth comes He will guide you into all truth;
For He will speak whatever He hears, and He will declare it to you.
All that the Father has is Mine.
For this reason I said that He will take what is Mine and declare it to you.
I’ve been reading the words penned by John for months now; both John's Gospel and his letters. Every time I sink my soul into his stories about Jesus and his long, rambling tangents (commentators call these discourses), something seems to stir inside me.
His words stir a longing, delight, awe.
I’m smitten, enamored by the picture John paints of Jesus. And just a little envious too. How did John come to be full of such confidence that Jesus not only loved him passionately, but actually liked him too? How is it that he referred to himself with such convincing conviction as the apostle Jesus loved? Not once or twice, but again, and again, and again as if he really believed it.
For years, decades, I have known the astounding truth that God loves me. And every year that I walk in His steps, learning to follow as close as I can, I have known that love a little more.
But to call myself “the one Jesus loved”— as in specifically? As in, Jesus loves the me-that-I-am? The possibity that Jesus not only loves me because He loves the whole world, but also because He loves me specifically, especially, particularly?
I’m afraid to let myself believe that God's love for me is specific to me.
That kind of love is a little too personal. Not at all like what I’ve absorbed from the depravity-of-man preachers who want to make sure I know I’m unworthy of God’s love. And I know they’re right, but this?
The idea that maybe Jesus’ love for me is not just general, but personal? That’s harder to swallow. Because I know me. I’m well acquainted with the depravity part. And, like everyone else, I’ve had plenty of people point out those parts of me that Jesus cannot possibly fail to see.
And if I do believe that He loves me like that, then I have to also believe that He talks to me, that He has things He wants to say to me, His girl, Di.
Selah. Pause and think about that.
That’s what I did this morning. I paused and thought long and wondrously about these words in John. That He still has many things He wants to say to me. That He knows there are things I’m not yet ready to hear and that doesn’t annoy Him. He’s okay with going at my pace. He’s more than okay, He’s adapting the pace of His speaking, guiding, declaring because He knows me, loves me, and wants me to hear. In fact, He left His Spirit when He returned to the Father for the express purpose of speaking truth to me.
And that’s all I’m going to say because it’s enough for today.
Now it’s time for me to go on my walk with Him. Time to silence myself so that I can hear the whispers of truth He wants me to know. Time for me to listen to the real, actual, touchable and feel-able love He has for me. As in the me He likes. The me that is becoming, in His presence, the me He had in mind when He made me.
But before I go, I would like to invite you to leave your name in the comments— with anything you want to add about why God loving you is something you’re struggling to grasp. Or even just your initials if you’re not ready for anyone else to know why Jesus’ love is so hard for you to actually feel. I’ll take you with me on my walks and I’ll talk to Jesus about your need to know, to experience His love— specifically.
And I’ll be back next week to write more of what I am discovering about this One who speaks, who guides, who loves the way He made you.
From a heart so full I just had to write it down,