Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Jesus Loves Me, this I know!

I spent a lot of time in the church nursery when I was a baby and a little girl.  Some of my earliest memories are of plain brown wooden blocks, graham crackers, saltines, and apple juice being handed to me in the nursery.  I still love those things today, especially when served together.  I remember beautiful murals on nursery walls, pictures of Jesus and his disciples, pictures from the stories of the Old Testament of Noah, Moses, Abraham, David and Goliath, Mary and Joseph, and  young Joseph and his coat of many colors.  These were the stories that I grew up hearing from my parents, my nursery workers, and my Sunday school teachers.  I feel overwhelmed with gratitude for this deposit paid into my life at such a young age.  It grounded me in a belief and faith that has always been threaded and woven through my journey and life story. 

I have no earth shattering testimony.  I have no riveting story of being rescued from a horrible life – a horrible life by the standards and definition of the world.  My faith story is one of persistent and consistent love and purposeful teaching given to me since birth.  According to God’s Word and the reality of sin, I have been rescued from a horrible life – a life of eternity separated from God.  

So what is one to do when asked about your “testimony”?  I used to shy away from the question because I had heard some really fascinating stories of people coming to know Christ.  I surely didn’t envy their prior circumstances, but their testimonies were inspiring to say the very least!  When I was a young child of about 6 our church had a ventriloquist as a special guest in our services.  She gave her testimony.  I don’t remember in great detail what she talked about, but I do remember that I was very moved by her experience and that she came to know Jesus through an accident that crushed her face.  She endured many physical issues in her life and was able to use her injury to become a ventriloquist as the muscles and bones in her face limited its movement.  She used her gifts for God’s glory, instead of being angry and bitter.  The Holy Spirit stirred me and I made a decision that I wanted to follow Jesus forever – no matter what.  I felt I already knew Him, and in a sense, I did have quite a bit of knowledge of the life of Jesus.  The difference was that on that day the Holy Spirit spoke to the heart of a 6 year old and said “Follow Me.”  And I did. 

There were no earth shattering turn of events in my life - no story that people would go home and tell others about and say, “You have GOT to hear this testimony I heard tonight!”  I was just a 6 year old girl who had been loved and taught from birth about a man named Jesus who was God’s only beloved son who came to earth as a baby, through a virgin named Mary, and was born in a lowly stable so that He could walk this earth and experience pain, suffering, and temptations and overcome them without sin.  He would die a horrific death on a cross – the ultimate punishment and suffering – bearing all my sins and the sins of the world so that I might call on Him to save my soul and reconcile me to a holy, sovereign and powerful God.  God loved me enough to do that for me.  I am so thankful for all the people in my life that spoke truth and taught me about Jesus.   I am thankful for the hours they spent preparing lessons, singing songs, watching me in the nursery, and telling me through their lives that Jesus loved me.  I am thankful for parents who took me to church every time the doors were open and prayed and spoke truth into my life every day.  Some of my fondest memories are in the walls of a church, the Sunday school classrooms, the church kitchen, the hallways, the church lawn, the choir loft, the church office, and the wooden boat in the nursery. 

The world is changing.  I don’t know many people who spend that much time in church anymore because they are busy doing other things.   It’s sad.  Even when I wasn’t there for an organized event I was being taught about Jesus simply by being inside those walls.  Yes, I know you can see Jesus everywhere and that you can learn about Christ in other places.  I am simply stating the fact that Christ’s church is an important part of His story.  Not only the universal church of God’s body – the people – but also the physical place where we come together with other believers to worship, study, encourage, and equip ourselves to do life. 

Jesus loves me, this I know.
For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong.
They are weak, but He is strong.
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
The Bible tells me so.

(Lyrics: Anna B. Warner; Music: William Bradbury)

Jesus loves me, this I know.
For many people told me so
While changing diapers and building with blocks,
I learned he loved me around the clock.
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
So many told me so.
(Allison Twigg)




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