matterofprayer blog post for Thursday, October 9, 2014
Jesus Loves Me, This I Know
As I was praying this morning, I read some more of a passage in the New Testament. I’ve been working through this extended passage for some three weeks. (With a hesitation/break included. You can read more about it in my previous blog post. http://wp.me/p43g3i-5u)
In my reading today, the scripture passage ended with 1 John 4:16a. I especially focused on the words of the first section of this verse. “So we have known and believe the love that God has for us.” I reflected on the fact that I came to realize, very early, that God loved me.
I grew up in an unchurched home in Chicago. My parents were born and raised Catholic, but they chose not to raise their children in any particular church. I still—to this day—don’t know exactly why I started to attend the Lutheran church in my neighborhood on the northwest side of Chicago, but I did attend, from a young age. And, I was blessed to be taught about God’s love by the pastor of that church. God is the Good Shepherd, One who loves me and takes care of me. (Thank you, Pastor Wold!) I learned that God’s love was “deep and wide,” and that “Jesus loves me.” I learned much more as I went through confirmation class, too.
This morning, I continued to reflect on how I came to begin to understand the amazing, boundless love of God. I also thought of people who don’t have a positive experience with God. Or, God’s love. They grow up with the idea of a punishing God. Or, a capricious God. Or, with absolutely no idea of God at all. This reflection brought me to tears. I realized how blessed I was, having had a concept of a loving, caring God in my life! This probably helped me through my turbulent teenage years. I shudder to think what my teens and twenties would have been like . . .
And now, knowing God intimately for as long as I have, I can no more think of a life without God than a life without breathing. Thank You, God!
Let’s pray. Dear God, thank You for leading me to You. I can’t even remember how I came to You, at first, but I did start. And, I kept attending church. Even though I wended and wandered in my way, even though we might not be faithful in gathering with Your flock, that doesn’t make any difference. You love us! You keep drawing us closer and closer to You. Thank You, Lord! Thanks for those lessons I had early in life. And, thanks for the continued assurance of Your love, caring and nurture. It’s in Jesus’ blessed name we pray, amen.
(also published at www.matterofprayer.net