SIMPLE TRUTHS ◽ ENCOURAGEMENT

Erica is our writer for this column, but she’s on a three month hiatus.  The title she gave this column indicates that the truth should be simple, not complicated, so we will continue with that theme…while we write and wait for her to return!  Simple truths are the ones we need right about now in this space and time in which we live.  All the theology in the world won’t get us through, but the simple truth of Jesus will.  And I learned that in a very hard space in my life…and I’m still learning it.

Theology was taught to me as a kid, with lots of ideas and thoughts that landed in my head about God and me.  Some of it couldn’t have been further from the truth.  I thought if I dressed a certain way, read my Bible a specific amount of time each day, and went to church like a good girl…all would be well with my soul.

I missed the simple truth that Jesus loves me, period.  I don’t have to perform to gain his approval.  I am approved of because I belong to him.

As I grew into adulthood, those theologies and ideas crumbled as I saw my husband’s health fail, our finances plummet, and intruders arrive…to rob me of my peace.  But what was really robbed and taken out from under me was my foundation, which again was performance and duty.  I sat beside the road one day and finally realized that this I know – Jesus – and he is enough for every season and loss in life.

I somehow thought that I had to be strong and never fail, if I truly believed and had enough faith.  Weakness was a sign of mistrust, or so I thought.  But the weak are the ones that reach out for a hand up, and then learn to walk strong, in the strength of that friendship made from the time in need.  Little ones to Him belong…I finally learned the meaning of that string of words.  I felt so little and small when I lost it all, but then so big and strong when I saw to whom I belonged.

So many “no’s” were taught to me as a child, no to wearing pants, no to movies, no to kissing, no to dancing, and no, no, no.  What a downer it was to live a life set apart for Him.  But, wait!  The rest of the song says “Yes! Jesus loves me!” In fact, that phrase is repeated three times!  When I learned that His answer to so much fun and good times in life is YES because He has set  me free to live, I could finally sing with joy…the rest of the lyrics.

The bible, the good book, the gospel was no longer a thick book of words and phrases I could not understand and directives I could never obey.  I finally learned the narrative of the love of God from the beginning of creation throughout all of history, until the time to come which I have not seen yet.  There’s a story there, one I had missed, and it was there in plain view hidden behind all the rules…right there!  The Bible tells me so…

I suppose that’s the most simple of all kids’ songs that we teach to our kids from the time they can hear and then sing out loud.  But do they really get it?  I didn’t, until I was about 30 years old and it’s taken me that many more years to get back to the simplicity of childlike trust to where I can play at the feet of my Father without fear.

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.

 

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?  DON'T FORGET TO CHECK OUT OUR OTHER ENCOURAGEMENT STORIES.
That Song
by Marcy Lytle

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