This was the first theological truth I ever learned. I can still picture myself in my little preschool room at church sitting on little wooden chairs in a half circle with about four or five older adults towering over me. I felt so little sitting there, but with my whole class and the loud voices of the senior citizens I learned to sing this most important song: Jesus loves me; this I know, for the Bible tells me so. Little ones (that was me) 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. Even though I learned it so long ago, I am still learning it today.
Why is it so easy to forget that Jesus loves me? I forget every time I startlooking to this world to give me the love I need. I forget when I think aboutall the people who are suffering and the pain that exists in the world. I forgetwhen I don’t get what I wanted most from God that minute. I caneven forget when I do a stupid thing like stub my toe! How can I have learnedthis lesson and not really have learned it?
God knows how forgetful I am, so He teaches me in many ways. Before I got outof bed this very morning, I spent some time in prayer just being in God’spresence. I sensed Him assuring me that He loves me. He made it clear that thislove was not based at all on what I do. Although He does delight in me; thatwas not the idea of love He most wanted me to grasp this morning. He was quiteclear that what He wanted me to know most was simply that Jesus loves me,this I know, for the Bible tells me so. That was it.
Then, I got the call. My dear friend’s husband was in heaven. And thisis love. Not that we will always understand God’s love; He doesn’texpect that of us. He does invite us to receive His love. We need to hold fastto that love. The darkest days of our lives are the days that we need to clingto His love the most. If you grew up in church singing Jesus Loves Me,you have probably never needed to sing it more than on the day of your divorce,the moment you’re told that you have miscarried, the instant you get thenews that one of your parents have died. Those are the moments that knowing Jesusloves you because the Bible tells you so, is the only way you can sing. Yourlife circumstances don’t tell you so; your Bible tells you. You are leftto trust that He says He loves you.
The profound theological truth Jesus loves me; this I know, forthe Bible tells me so, is not only the first theological truth I ever learned,it is the most important theological truth I’ve ever learned. My friend’stheme verses through this horrific ordeal she suffers are from Habakkuk 3:17-19: Thoughthe fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olivecrop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the penand no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyfulin God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like thefeet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights. When you think aboutit that song has the same message as Jesus loves me; this I know, for the Bibletells me so. I think I will sing it over and over today.