Spending time with Jesus, what does that mean?
This question came from a 7 year old girl – an honest question from the heart of a child with a budding faith. It’s easy to fall into patterns of communication that are hard for those outside the circle or new to it to understand. I mean, think about it, she knows Jesus lived a long time ago and is no longer here on earth. So how in the world am I going to spend time with Jesus?
It’s a very good question my dear! Let’s take a look….
Starting with the idea about Jesus not being physically here, let’s call him our loved one. If our loved one (Dad, Mom, Husband, Best Friend… ) is living far away from us, how would we still find ways to spend time with them?
- Reading letters
- Calling them up and having conversations
- Taking time to listen
- Accepting their love
- Cherishing their words
- Feeling that rush when you “see them everywhere”
When we get letters form loved ones we don’t just look at it and smile, then set it on a shelf. Nor do we read it and toss it. We keep them, cherish them, re-read them over and over. We savor all the nuances and personal touches.
But Jesus doesn’t send us mail!?
Oh, my friend, He has left the best love letter ever for us! The Bible is our love letter from Jesus. It’s full of how much he loves us, including descriptions of how much and in what ways! There are personal touches, applications to us as individuals and as the family unit.
There are instructions to us from a loving Father and Husband to help keep us safe. Words of wisdom to show us how to thrive as we live in this foreign land physically far from him.
I think of army families – often moved to a foreign land, then the soldier is shiped of to another station where their family cannot follow yet. Those letters back and forth are so important! They help keep the connection strong. They let the family and the soldier know they are not forgotten, not forsaken. Reading our Bible is the first way to spend time with Jesus.
Phone calls – hearing your loved ones voice is so encouraging and full of love! A phone conversation is even clearer communication. You can hear the tone of voice, the warmth of love, the concern for our sfety and success. So many ways love is expressed even in the silent moments. There is such a beautiful connection and you can close your eyes and feel as if they are right there with you.
Prayer is our phone call to God! When we call someone we love we sometimes call just to say “I love you”. It’s not always calling just because you need something. Phone calls are two way conversations, that means we listen too. Prayer is no different. It’s even more intimate than the letter because it’s real time back and forth exchange of different forms and ways of showing love. Prayer is communicating with the true love of our lives!
Taking time to listen
My favorite thing to do whith my kids is listen to what is going on in thier life. Just soaking it in. so often I learn now ways to show them love and they don’t even know they are telling me that!
As we read the love letters from Jesus and have “phone conversations” that go both ways, we start to learn that with him it’s even better than with a human loved one far away. He is able to literally be both far away and right there with us at the same time.
This brings us to the Holy Spirit. we can sit and listen to what he has to say. We can feel the love and caree just as real as when my kids hug me. We can spend time listening to Jesus.
Hanging out with the Holy Spirit (the helper Jesus promised to send to us and who dwells in us) shows us new ways to love Jesus and, in turn, to experience his love for us. Doing life together brings us even closer. Praying without ceasing – getting to this point is beautiful. You now can better understand what spending time with Jesus means. You “epignosko” it.
Accepting the love offered
This is something I dont think a lot of people get – especially if we have been through a lot of trauma.
My ex was never, in 22 years, able to truly believe I loved him. He never fully accepted it as true, unconditional love. He didn’t know how to. This translated also into not believing unconditional love was a thing and so couldn’t understand that God loved him perfectly.
To accept love that is freely offered to us we must be able to trust the one offering it. We cannot fully experience love if we don’t accept it as a real thing.
God’s love is the purest, most perfect, unconditional love there is. We need to remember He’s “Not a man that he can lie or break a promise”. When God offers his love to us it’s a full on offer of all he is – fully committed to you and your well being. Coupled with His perfect wisdom to know exactly what is best for you, it’s the most amazing kind of all encompassing love there is. Fully embracing that is such a fulfilling way to spend time with Jesus!
Cherish their words
Reading those letters over and over, recalling the phone conversations…. it keeps our hearts full and our connections strong. When we love someone we treasure the loving things they say. We repeat them to everyone we can. It excites us and fulfills us to rememver and repeat what they have expressed to us.
Like keeping the letters and re-reading them – often we’ve memorized the whole thing – we hide the words in our hearts. We cherish the love, the wisdom and the care in those words. We spend time with Jesus by hiding his word in our hearts and by sharing it with others.
So much more should we treasure the words of our loving creator, Father, friend, brother, husband Jesus! Cherishing them in our hearts, sharing them with others so they can feel the joy of his love as well. Recall the words of wisdom when we get in situations he has told us were coming.
Enjoy seeing Jesus everywhere
I know what it is like to miss someone so much that, even though they are physically far away, I see them in other people. That double take you do thinking you saw them across the parking lot.
Everything reminds you of them. A boquet of flowers at the store reminds you of the ones they sent for your birthday. the rainbo in the sky of the first time they pointed out a double rainbow just to see you smile.
God is actually in everything around us. He created it all, it is his design and it was designed for us, given to us to enjoy.
Allow all of these beautiful experiences to fully remind you of Him. Let you see Him for who he is. Be thankful for the fact that he gave us beautiful things to look at, delicious things to taste, lovely aromas to smell, fun textures to touch – and wonderfully complex emotions to feel.
He is in all of it. As you go through life, have your experiences, look for him. Find Him, there is always good in everything because God is God and He is love. Evidence of Him is in everything!
How will you Spend time with Jesus
Where is your relationship with Jesus today? What can you do to spend more time with him? How are you already spending time with him? Are there others you can help to get to know the love of your life?
Healing from trauma starts with trusting, communication and recognizing the truth of who you are. A close relationship with Jesus, letting him love you, is the very best place to start. If you have questions about how to have this relationship, email me at [email protected] with Jesus in the subject line.
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