I was on my way home. It was barely 8:00 p.m. And it was dark – really dark! The sun had set about an hour earlier. There was no moon, and no stars. The rain, though not coming down that hard, only made it more difficult to see.
I was fortunate, though. On this night everyone was driving with their car lights turned on … I don’t know how the occasional driver on other nights ever navigates without them. No accidents to avoid … no cars on the shoulder … not even any crazies! Like I said, as I was pulling into the garage, my thoughts were focused upon my good fortune … and how nice it felt to be home.
I got up this morning, and it was still raining. I have not checked anything beyond that – except for the weather report. The forecast is for the rain to stop sometime this morning. However, the humidity will remain around 100% most of the day (And if you like cooler temperatures, congratulations. They won’t approach today’s 68 degrees again in the foreseeable future).
So much for the report on the weather outside. How are things in your heart? No, I am not talking about your conversations with your primary care person or your cardiologist (or even your electrophysiologist, a new term we recently learned). I don’t want to get into any HIPAA problems. I am, quite simply, asking about your relationship with Jesus.
His heart for you is clear, sunny and warm. “When Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. … And he said, ‘Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends.’” (John 13.1; 15.13-14) You are his beloved friend, and he loves you to the end (which is much farther than just to the moon and back). “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. … For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” (John 6.35, 40) His love for you is bold and strong. His passion never waivers – no matter how cold or gloomy our hearts become.
Now, I do not know about how you feel about this, but I find it to be very encouraging … because I know that my ‘inside weather’ can get dark – really dark. And then it gets even worse when I find myself hurting others because of my ‘weather issues’ on the inside (Please don’t ask me about it, but I have been a real jerk this past week). “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7.24-25) Even in the midst of my darkest moments … my most hurtful behaviors and evil thoughts … he loves me. He says to me, as he said the paralytic long ago, “Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven. … Rise, pick up your bed and go.” (Matthew 9.2, 6)
And you know, what he is really saying to my heart … and to yours is simply, “Rain, rain, go away; and don’t come back any other day!” (If you are still struggling with this, you might read John 1.1-5 as a little extra encouragement)