Rite of passage parenting: Yes, Jesus loves me
For someone who isn’t a writer, coming up with an article each week is a daunting task. One of the problems I face is that I have only one mind, 10 fingers and 26 letters to work with. I sometimes think if we just had a few more letters in our alphabet, my job would be much easier. The Germans have 30 letters, the Armenians have 38 and when I lived in Budapest, Hungary, I was jealous because they have 44 letters in their alphabet. Oh, what could I do with 44 letters!
I still feel a little slighted that I don’t have as much to work with as the Hungarians. Sometimes I think if I can’t have more letters in the alphabet, a couple more fingers would help. But I have a hard time getting the 10 I have to cooperate, and the older they get, the less they want to act like team players.
I have to admit, the mind I have is not normal. It runs at 100 miles an hour, with gusts up to 200. Trying to get my thoughts through a set of lips with a governor that keeps them from going over 40 miles per hour can be interesting. So with a 100-mile-an-hour brain, 40 mile-an-hour lips, three-miles-an-hour fingers and only 26 letters to work with, you can see the challenges I face each week.
As I shared with you in my last column, I love to read. My eyes go faster than my brain—well, at least it seems like they do. Sometimes, I’m reading through a book, and a couple of seconds after I read something, my brain says, “Whoa, did you understand what you just read?” At that point, my eyes remind my brain that it’s their job to read and the brain will take care of the understanding.
I’ve thought about going back to school and taking a writing course. But I’m afraid I’d have the lowest grade in the class and would then have to confess my failures to you, my readers. That would be like finding out that your doctor graduated at the bottom of his class in medical school. In that case, you’d be justified in seeking a second opinion.
A person who has as many challenges as I do is extra-grateful for the blessing of Jesus. I was at a meeting once where someone told me I was shallow. That kind of derogatory remark used to offend me. But now, I agree with the comments and tell my critics (as Paul Harvey used to say) the rest of the story. I am shallow, but that’s only a half-truth. The whole truth is that I am shallow, but Jesus is my depth. According to 1 Cor. 2:10, I have a tutor called the Holy Spirit Who’s on the job 24 hours a day. He searches the depths of God and brings this shallow person everything I need.
Not only am I shallow, but I am also weak. But again, that is only a half-truth. Yes, “I am weak, but He is strong.” Remember the children’s song? When we learn it as little children, we sing, “Little ones to him belong, they are weak, but He is strong,” and then we add the special reminder, “Yes, Jesus loves me.” But somehow on the journey of life, we forget that in the truest sense, all of us are weak.
At any given time, it doesn’t take long for me to remember how weak I am. I bet you’re the same way. An unexpected illness, a financial crisis, children who go astray and we can do nothing to stop them, a divorce and the list goes on and on. When these things hit us, we stand there underneath a tidal wave of helplessness. But in your weakness, I want you to know how strong my Jesus is: “I pray that … you may know … His incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength He exerted when He raised Christ from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms” (Eph.1:18-20).
Did you get that? “Jesus is more powerful than” … anyone. I know many of you are going through some huge struggles. I want to remind you that “Yes, Jesus Loves You.”
You are weak, but I also want to say to you, “He is strong.” Call me shallow if you want, but that’s the truth.
I want to give a shoutout to all those who attended the recent “Baptist Messenger Family Reunion.“ Thanks for coming, and I pray you received a blessing from your attendance. Happy 100th anniversary, Baptist Messenger!