This morning in the car, I was really thinking about God's love for me. I had these thoughts as I was watching a man limp across the street: "I hope no one makes fun of him and makes him feel bad" (as my eyes filled up with tears). And I thought, I bet that's how God feels toward that man... protective like a father. And then I thought, I bet that's how God feels toward ME... protective like a father... saying to Himself, "I will be upset if someone makes fun of my Sara..."—and that was a very precious thought to me.
For the last several days I have been reading from Luke, and writing down verses and thoughts about how Jesus ministered (showed love) to people in personal ways—and it is pretty neat (and obvious) to see His loving, patient, kind character. Some of my favorites are:
Luke 4:40 — "As the sun went down that evening, people throughout the village brought sick family members to Jesus. No matter what their diseases were, the touch of His hand healed every one."
---> Jesus touched each one individually, and healed them. I would bet He looked deeply and lovingly into the eyes of each one of them too.
Luke 5:18 — "Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a sleeping mat. They tried to take him inside to Jesus, but they couldn’t reach Him because of the crowd. So they went up to the roof and took off some tiles. Then they lowered the sick man on his mat down into the crowd, right in front of Jesus. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the man, 'Young man, your sins are forgiven.'"
---> Jesus was teaching to a crowd when this happened, and He wasn't irritated that they interrupted Him. He saw their faith and this man's need, and He attended to them.
Luke 5:12 — "In one of the villages, Jesus met a man with an advanced case of leprosy. When the man saw Jesus, he bowed with his face to the ground, begging to be healed. “Lord,” he said, “if you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean.” Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!” And instantly the leprosy disappeared."
---> Jesus touched this man, who had an advanced case of leprosy! The man probably hadn't been touched by anyone in a long time. That in itself must have been such a gift! But then Jesus healed him too!
So I'm just being reminded again of how very loving and kind Jesus is, how merciful and compassionate. Again, not sure how I lost sight of that—but probably something to do with me being a little too introspective during my struggles here, and not letting Him minister to my heart—almost like I rejected His love because I insisted I was too much of a sinner.... just like Peter in Luke 5:8 — "When Simon Peter realized what had happened, he fell to his knees before Jesus and said, “Oh, Lord, please leave me—I’m too much of a sinner to be around You.” —But Jesus then went on to invite Peter to join Him in "fishing for men"...... amazing! Jesus doesn't require perfection, and His love and compassion for us is great! So awesome!!