image11Yesterday, I couldn’t read my on-line devotions because the internet was out at home. However, I did manage to read one on my phone when I was out and about. Every now and then, I guess I am glad I have a smart phone. Yesterday, I was especially thankful.

The devotion started out with one question: “Why do you love Jesus?”

It was a short question. One that should have an easy answer after all these years. And yet – it caught me. It was one of those simple things that shouldn’t have been any more than an introductory start to an ordinary read, and yet, it was.

“Why do you love Jesus?”

I’ve been thinking about these five words now for over 24 hours. Our tongue stumbles over the name of Jesus these days. We show His picture. We especially love the ones with a smile on His face or a child cradled in His arms. We quote His words when they are a warm and fuzzy confirmation to what we want to do.  We conveniently forget the rest. After all, He lived a long time ago. He didn’t have the education – the pundits – the technology – the wisdom that we have.

“Why do you love Jesus?”

The past few days have just been a crazy whirlwind of unexpected surprises in the routine – some bad – some good. A weeping pussy willow tree begins to show new life. A truck breaks down. A new garden takes shape. Driving glasses lost. Butterflies landing on the new plants surrounding the house. 20 kids pulling me 30 different ways all at one time. A note of appreciation from a former student that brought smiles and tears.

“Why do you love Jesus?”child

It is all those things. The good and the bad. The hard work and the lazy moments when I can pick up the Bible, a pen or even a phone. Prayer lists that stretch the length of several pages. A young boy handing me a drawing of two hearts and telling me he is not my “turtle boy” any more. (long story but a good one for another day). A country torn apart by divisive anger. A Grand getting her first hit (left-handed just like her grandma) in her first game. Another Grand building an elaborate series of castles and a volcano out of sand, gravel and sticks. Life in it’s entirety.

“Why do you love Jesus?”

The more these words bounced around me, through me and settled into the deepest recesses of what I call self, the more I realized that I love Jesus not for just those physical things that happen – the gifts – the sadness – the disasters – the ordinary – – – I love Him for the awe, the peace, the fear, the promises, the humbleness – the grace that He has brought to all aspects of my life.

“Why do you love Jesus?”

I think I need to ask myself this question every day. When I read the Bible, when I do devotions, when I sit down beside that whining student, when I watch the dogs chase a squirrel, when I find my driving glasses tucked way up under the rubber car mat, when a sore knee digs one more hole in stone-filled, red clay.

“Why do I love Jesus?” Because I remember that old children’s song that sings me to sleep on those nights when sleep seems to be a lamb’s chase away….

“Jesus loves me this I know…….”




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