Monday, November 18, 2013

Jesus Loves Us

a friend of mine posted on facebook that he and his new wife got a free hotel room upgrade on their wedding night and then added #jesuslovesus.

i was genuinely happy for them and thought that was super fun, but i couldn't help but be a little bothered by the hashtag. Jesus loves us. 

not because i don't think Jesus loves them, i wouldn't doubt for a second that he does, it just made me question what that had to do with getting an awesome hotel room upgrade.

and then i immediately felt that feeling that has come so often the last few months. the sneaky, devilish lie.

does Jesus not love john and i as much?

because if blessings come to those Jesus loves, and them exclusively, then how do we explain when horrible things happen?

does Jesus play favorites?

i think there is a false belief in the christian world that God rewards those he favors and punishes those he disapproves of. 

this has to stop. it's soul damaging. it's un-biblical. (read about abraham, moses, mary, david, the samaritan woman, JESUS for examples of men and women who were deeply cherished and loved by God, yet who's lives were far from painless.)

don't get me wrong, there's definitely something to be said about reaping what you sow. the natural consequences of bad behavior will, more often than not, play themselves out. ie. if you smoke cigarettes, you're running the risk of getting lung cancer. or if you are continually selfish and think only of yourself, there's a chance that could majorly come back to bite you in the butt.

but to somehow believe that the homeless man on the bus, who everyone wants to avoid because he smells a little funny and makes weird noises, isn't loved by jesus as much as the person who drives a bmw, lives in a million dollar home and seems to have everything in life come so easily - is flat out bullsh*t.

let's not delude ourselves. no one is better than anyone else. we're all human.

now, john and i are not perfect. we sometimes harbor un-forgiveness. we have a hard time trusting. we could be even more sacrificial in our giving. we don't always use our words in edifying ways. but we are wholehearted, Jesus followers. we seek justice, love mercy and desire to honor God with our lives.

there is nothing, nothing, we did to deserve losing our son. nothing.

this is a mantra i have to repeat over and over again. because sometimes i believe the lie that God is punishing us or doesn't love us as much as someone else living a seemingly perfect life. and believing that disgusting lie is so incredibly painful and rips through to your core.

i don't know much, but what i know for sure is,

my God is a God of grace,

my God does not dole out tragedy according to good/bad behavior,

Jesus Loves Us. All Of Us.

whether we get a sweet hotel upgrade or our firstborn son dies, whether we are a heroin addict or volunteer at a food bank, whether we have a loving family or our family abandoned us, whether we lead large crowds in worship or don't attend church at all, whether we've never had one single bad thing happen in our entire lives or if every day is a tragedy.

He Loves Us. 
no conditions. no limits.

the end.


  1. Couldn't agree more. I feel the same way when someone says "the prayers are working!" because they are getting the outcome they desire. Because my babies dies, does that mean all the prayers that were said for them didn't "work"? We need to change how cavalierly we toss out these "Christian" phrases or try so hard to find a reason when something bad happens. You hit the nail on the head. God loves all of us. The rest.... well, honestly, to me, that's not so clear.

    1. oh, prayer! that is so tricky. i have a REALLY hard time with "the prayers are working" as well. frankly, i'm having a hard time with prayer in general. there's a lot that just doesn't make any sense. thanks so much for sharing, kim. i couldn't agree more.

  2. I love this post. I really admire your faith. And you are right... you did NOTHING to "deserve" this.

  3. You forgot Job! Whose friends turned against him and declared him guilty of some sin to deserve such pain. I think about this topic a lot. I feel like as Christians, when tragedy happens, our response should be like Jesus to his disciples about the blind man: "Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him." We all experience some degree of tragedy. And through it, God can work miracles in making us who He needs us to be. I love you, McCayla. I'm thinking of you. And you're wonderful. Thank you for giving me an increased understanding and compassion for suffering.

  4. I have been so frustrated by this same thing! When others children are healed, and they credit gods blessings or that their prayers worked, I get irritated. I meant my prayers with all my heart...and asked god for why didn't mine work? Did god love me less? Thanks for the reminder of what I tell myself all the time

  5. I think of Joseph, who was sold into slavery by his brothers, then sent to prison for a crime he didn't commit, then left there by the fellow prisoner whose dream he had interpreted to mean that he would soon be released, and who had promised to remember Joseph once he was free. Joseph spent much of his life in bondage through no fault of his own.
    It seems to me that life's twists, turns, and tragedies usually don't make sense, and slapping a too-easy statement about God's will on them does nothing to change that.
    If Jesus is Jesus, he loves us all and truly feels our pain.