June 2, 2017
“ … He saved me to His delight; He took joy in me.” Psalm 18:19b (VOICE)
I wasn’t expecting anything profound to slip from my 4-year-old’s lips while we chatted over lunch on that hot summer day. I was just trying to keep my capricious girl at the table long enough to finish her peanut butter sandwich before she raced off to play.
“What did you learn at Vacation Bible School today?” I asked as I leaned over Maggie’s pink plastic plate and wiped a drizzle of peanut butter from her chin.
My daughter lifted her sandwich to her lips, took a bite and peered at me over the crust like a friendly neighbor peeking across a backyard fence.
“I learned that Jesus really likes me … ” she said with a giddy grin. “Soooo much!”
Her words floated through the air on the wings of a happy-sing-song. Then she reached across the table and gave my hand a tender squeeze. “And, Mommy,” she said as she laced her sticky fingers through mine, “I think He really, really likes you, too!”
She waved her arms like a baby bird taking flight, and I felt as if my heart might take flight, too.
After all, I’ve long believed that Jesus loves me — the cross is proof of that — but some days when I look at the woman in the mirror, it’s hard to believe my Savior likes me, too.
I don’t know about you, but some days, I just feel unlikeable.
Some days I feel messed up and maxed out, exasperated and exhausted.
Some days I’m not grateful or gleeful, flexible or fun.
Some days I don’t bring delight to my husband, my kids or even my dearest pals.
And to be totally honest, some days I don’t even like myself.
Yet like a forgiving friend, the Bible echoes my little girl’s winsome words.
Scripture reminds us that the One who took our place on Calvary’s cross doesn’t merely tolerate us through gritted teeth or embrace us because of holy compulsion. As preposterous as it sounds, the One who first loved us, actually likes us, too. And here’s proof:
It’s crazy when you think about it — that the perfect Prince of Heaven takes joy in His flawed followers on the dust of earth. But when I remember this simple truth, it changes the way I pursue my Savior.
When I acknowledge that Jesus enjoys me, I look for ways to enjoy Him, too. I seek His company as I go throughout my day, whether it’s talking to Him as I drive across town or laughing with Him over my children’s goofy antics.
I notice His kindness in the depths of my daily grind — the brazen sunset over the trees in my backwoods, or the unexpected phone call from a friend on a hard day.
And I relish His presence in the midst my pandemonium. I savor the song of the birds beyond my window, the unexplainable peace in my hurry, the echo of an encouraging Scripture verse that runs through my mind.
In short, when I remember how the One who died for me also delights in me, I’m drawn to delight in Him, too.
So, I’m gonna keep singing that Sunday School song I learned as a child: Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so.
But I’m also going to celebrate that oft-ignored truth that a 4-year-old once spoke to my soaring soul through a mouthful of peanut butter.
Jesus really likes me ... And you know what? I think He really really likes you, too … soooooo much.
Dear Jesus, Thank You for loving me enough to save me and liking me enough to savor me. Teach me how to delight in You, as You delight in me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Psalm 147:11, “But the Eternal does take pleasure in those who worship Him, those who invest hope in His unfailing love.” (VOICE)
Zephaniah 3:17, “The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” (NIV)
If you need a reminder of how much God not only loves you, but likes you, you don’t want to miss our life-changing summer Online Bible Study. Jennifer Rothschild is partnering with us to help set women free of their negative self-talk and replace it with the powerful truth of God's Word. Registration for the Me, Myself, and Lies P31 OBS is now open! Learn more here.
For more encouragement and for a giveaway that will inspire you to savor your Savior, join Alicia Bruxvoort at her blog today.
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
How might knowing that Jesus likes you change the way you approach your Savior on a daily basis? What is one way you can enjoy Jesus more today?
Prayerfully consider sharing one of the verses listed in today’s devotion with a friend who needs to know that Jesus doesn’t just love her, but He likes her, too.
© 2017 by Alicia Bruxvoort. All rights reserved.