I’m feeling particularly joyful at the moment! And it’s an interesting thing… It makes me want to share. I just want to talk about happy things. Things that have made me smile today include: friends to share good stuff with. Snow! Trees covered in the stuff, the sunlight bouncing off it and making it glow. Finding a book I’ve been looking out for in a second-hand book shop that I just popped into by chance! Coffee – a lovely latte in a beautiful mug. Chatting with Rachel about Galatians, Jesus and freedom (that was a real treat!). Waffling over a cup of tea with Amy about literature, Jesus and worldviews! Walking home in the fading light. Did I mention the beautiful snow?! Listening to songs that mirror my singing heart…
Most of all, I am laughing to myself at just how good the Lord is. Have you ever felt like that? That this whole Christianity thing is just too laughably good to be true? I don’t always think like this, sadly, but today, in his kindness, God’s reminded me that all these good things, all the little and large things in life that make us smile or make things more bearable – they come from him. I’d never have guessed that! I’m so hopelessly wrapped up in my selfish thoughts that I would instinctively attribute those good things to … myself, or other people, or the general benevolence of the world at large. That’s bad. That’s a problem. But, and this is where it gets ridiculously good, God is kind and good even in the midst of my badness. Why do I ever doubt that? I mean, look at Jesus. People said to him that they wanted to know if he was God. They asked questions about his teaching. They investigated his background. They mumbled and grumbled at the way he healed the sick and associated with the poor. They were sceptical, cynical, full of doubt and anger. Some followed him round, disrupted his quiet evening to ply him with questions. Some were utterly ignorant of who they were speaking to and wasted his time trying to hide the truth from him. People scorned him, mocked him, held him up as a teacher one minute and labelled him a criminal the next.
And what does Jesus say to them? How does he treat them? People like this?
Jesus said …“Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
How can he offer such things so freely to people like us? What on earth is going on that makes him behave like that?
He loves. Jesus loves people like that.
Listen to what he longs for: (bear with the language – it’s rich and deep, it’ll do you good!)
“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”
I find it infectious. I am loved. We are loved. And that, well, it just sort of oozes out of you. And it’s joyful! What a way to live. What a Life we’ve been given in Jesus! How good he is!