Friday, August 3, 2012

The Joyful Side of Jesus

“Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him.  ‘You of little faith,’ he said, ‘why did you doubt?’”  Matthew 14:31.

When my children were toddlers there were times when they wanted so badly to attempt something new but were fearful, such as jumping off the side of the pool into the water.  As a mother, I knew that I would catch them but as the small child they doubted.  It was new for them…scary…unchartered waters.  I would plead for them to look at me instead of looking at the distance between us.  After coaxing and convincing, our eyes would finally meet, followed by the leap, and falling into my arms…both of us laughing, rejoicing and sharing in that moment.  See, I told you that you could do it!  I don’t know why you didn’t think you could!  Look at what you did!  We had that moment of shared joy and accomplishment.

Kay Warren, author of Choose Joy, encourages me to see Jesus in a different way.  Instead of seeing Him the way most art depicts Him…somber… suffering… burdensome…she entreats me to see Him for the way He was.  The Son of Man came, enjoying life’ Luke 7:34 (PH).   I have always thought the above exchange between Peter and Jesus was more about Peter’s lack of faith being highlighted.  This morning, however, I believe it was similar to what I experienced with my own children when they were young.  It brought me such joy and laughter when they attempted something beyond their confidence.  I delighted in their sense of accomplishment, scooping them up, hugging and kissing them.  My encouragement after the jump was to convince them of their abilities and share in their new confidence. 

This is the essence of Jesus Christ…joyful, encouraging, catching us, lifting us up in celebration when we attempt to jump as a result of our faith.  We allow Him to catch us when we lose our breath from the jump.  We rest in His arms as He carries us back over to the side with a new found confidence.  We have shared in joyful intimacy and confident accomplishment.  Sure, there will be more jumps to take, more leaps of faith and more water in our face with the plunge.  But, He lovingly and delightfully looks into our eyes as He holds us close and says, ‘And you didn’t think you could do it!’ 

And then we laugh because we don’t even know why we doubted.

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