At what age did you stop believing in Santa Claus? Did you ever really believe in the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy? How old were you when you realized life was unfair and your parents were not perfect?
I have been thinking a lot lately about the impossible.
Spending two weeks with Covid, I never thought the New Year would start with a basement full of rats, having to put a new roof on an old house, and a bathroom ceiling leaking and threatening to cave in under the weight of water. My son has enjoyed taking pictures of the widening crack and sending them out to various people. My worry is his current social media magic.
The impossible has always seemed simply that- impossible.
Impossible the world is as ugly as it is. Impossible people are as hateful as they are now. Impossible love and companionship have eluded me for so long. Impossible I would ever be a single parent. So many things I never believed I would see are now a reality.
The single most puzzling impossible to me is the love of Jesus.
How could Jesus love me after all the mistakes I have ever made? How could Jesus love someone like me? How could He take my sins on the cross and think of me when He died? My mind cannot comprehend it.
Not to get caught in the trap of self-pity, I have never really known love. My dad was always at work, my mom was always angry and took that anger out on us, and my siblings were older and had their own lives. I had a few friends, wouldn’t call it love as, in the end, they all went their own way. My boyfriends, all 6 of them, have been physically, mentally, and spiritually abusive. The one that I eventually married betrayed me in ways I still to this day do not understand because I thought he loved me.
It would seem natural to yearn for the love that only Jesus gives. Yet I still believe it to be impossible.
Psychologists would say, and have, that I associate Jesus with all the earthly men in my life and that abuse doesn’t allow me to fully believe in the faithful One. I believe in His sacrifice for me. I believe that He walked this earth and healed people- it is all true.
Tell me that Jesus loves me, and I must stop and think, does He really? How can Jesus love me when I barely like myself?
Mark 12:31 says: “This is the second: ‘YOU SHALL [unselfishly] LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
What if I love my neighbor more than myself because I believe loving my neighbor will somehow make me love myself? FYI: it doesn’t.
The impossible thing about all of this is that Jesus does love me exactly as He says in His Word. It is as simple as the childhood song Jesus Loves Me.
It resonated deeply in my soul, and I believed every word from beginning to end. Right now, I’m struggling to believe anyone, especially a Man who died for me, loves me.
It all seems impossible.
But impossible is what Jesus does, isn’t it?
Jesus tells His disciples in Matthew 19:26, “But Jesus looked at them and said, “With people [as far as it depends on them] it is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
All things are possible.
Knowing His love for me is possible.
One day I will. I genuinely believe that.