Right now, I'm listening to Fernando Ortega's version of "Give Me Jesus" - an anthem that I go to often in my prayers and thoughts. The lyrics alone seem a bit trite - "Give me Jesus, Give me Jesus. You can have all this world, but give me Jesus." But, I was thinking about what that actually means. Jesus- the source of life, salvation. Jesus- the lover of the afflicted and the poor. Jesus- the defender of the rejected and abused. Jesus- the One who welcomes children and feeds the hungry. Jesus- the hater of injustice and hypocrisy. Jesus- the Giver, teacher, and bringer of peace. Jesus- the One who controls the earth- whose words quiet the storm.
I've been the recipient of some pretty incredible blessings in the past month - I've been so encouraged by the way that the Lord provides for our needs - the way we need them to be met. But in the midst of all of this, the words of a wise man ring in my heart- "Hold it lightly"- all of the blessings we have are meant to be received, enjoyed, and offered back to the Lord as worship. I've heard people say that before. But for the first time, I think I am actually beginning to understand what it means.
Why am I writing this? Because I've consistently been eager to control and figure out pretty much everything- particularly as it relates to men and life choices. That's begun to change recently. And it actually has very little to do with anything I've "done" per se. But over the course of the past couple of months, I've begun to first accept that I am human- with needs and desires. That's ok. God made me this way. But He also provides for those needs to be met. How? For me, my need for affirmation and feeling lovely is met in long walks through town, wearing a long, flowy skirt, beautiful sunsets. They always made me feel loved, but recognizing that those things are explicitly meeting those needs- and that comes from the Lord - means that I become radically less urgent to find satisfaction in another person. So first, ask yourself, what are your emotional and spiritual needs? Then take a look at when you feel the most loved and appreciated when you're alone. What makes you feel alive? Have you considered that the very thing that gives you joy actually meets your need to feel loved?
So when my heart cries, "You can have all this world, but give me Jesus," my heart is begging that I finally realize that it is in Christ that I consistently find life, joy, and strength. And it is in that recognition that I find increased joy in what it is I've been given- because it's Him loving me, because He sees me as precious, loved and worthy.
May we praise His name as we move through this Holy Week. "Hallelujah! Glory be to our great God!"