Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Jesus Feels With Us

Our granddaughter, Kylie, stepped into our living room this morning holding Grandma's old Bible. "Can I sit with you guys for your date with Jesus?"

Grandpa sat in one wing-back chair beside the piano, and I sat in the other. "Sure," Grandpa said.

Kylie proceeded to wiggle into the tiny rocker across from us with the brown Bible in her lap.

Gazing out the window, I drank in the sight of dogwoods, the azure sky, and sunlight dancing on the hedges. Inspired by the glorious visual, I shared a few verses in Psalms about the Lord creating the heaven and the earth. That this same God watches over us and cares for us.

Grandpa picked up his Bible and turned to Philippians 2:5 -11. He read the verses while Kylie ran her finger along the page of her Bible, not reading quite yet, but trying her best.

Then Grandpa shared how he'd been thinking all week about how Jesus is the Life-Giver, placing the Holy Spirit inside of those who trust Him as their Savior. He then posed the question that our Sunday School teacher, Chris Cox, asked us to dwell on this week: If God the Son came to earth as a man, how would that work? 

Kylie perked up and her eyes grew wide. "God came as a baby." She touched the wooden manger beside her rocker, the one she and Daddy crafted a few years ago, and the one we use to "act out" the Christmas story. Which at our house happens throughout the year at the prompting of our grandchildren.

We talked more about what it might have been like for Jesus to be a little child. Did He fall down and scrape His knee? Did He cry? We all agreed He probably did. Did He ever whine and want His own way? Probably tempted to, but "He never did," Kylie insisted.

"Jesus, the Truth, shared honestly in love," Grandpa shared. "Perhaps, He said something like, 'I feel frustrated right now. Would you help me tie my shoes (or fasten my saddles :)?' Or 'I feel angry when you grab the toy I was playing with. Could you ask me nicely for a turn?' Or maybe when He felt frustrated, He stopped right then and talked to His heavenly Father, asking for strength to do the right thing."

"Did He ever feel like disobeying His mommy and daddy?" I added. Yep, probably, we all agreed. "But did He?" No.

"Jesus was perfect," Kylie maintained, nodding her head.

We considered other scenarios: Did He always tell the truth? Yes. Because He IS truth. So, did He tattle on his disobedient brothers and sisters when he caught them doing something wrong? Probably not. Most likely, He let the situation play out. But if He was asked point-blank, He'd tell the truth.

"Wow, Jesus' brothers and sisters probably got really mad at Him sometimes, since He was the perfect child," I said.

"Like Joseph. His brothers threw him in the pit." Kylie illustrated with her hands. "Yeah, Joseph and Jesus were kinda alike." She pursed her lips and nodded, freckles dotting her cheekbones.

"Yes, in some ways they were." Grandpa smoothed a hand over his Bible. "Jesus' brothers and sisters may have even run off and played without Him. Hmm . . . I wonder if He ever felt lonely?" We all agreed He did. He felt lonely and rejected at times even before He grew up and died on the Cross.

"God wearing our flesh felt lonely," I said, and we all grew quiet for a few moments, pondering it seemed, each in our own way, the amazing paradox of a God who created the heavens and the earth and all they contain, feeling alone.

As we finished our date with Jesus, we considered the enormous and comforting truth that Jesus knows what it's like to feel angry, frustrated, lonely, and tempted. Yet Truth in human form remained loyal to His divine nature, because as God, He could do no other.

When He lives within us, we have His power available 24/7 to please the Father just like He pleased the Father while He lived on earth. The relational God dwelt among us. And now, lives within us. He not only understands how we feel, He feels along with us, and then gives us power to honor Him in the midst of all our messy emotions.

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