“I was pushed hard, so that I was falling, but the LORD helped me.” (Psalm 118:13)

During a senseless act at Minnesota’s Mall of America, a stranger threw a five-year-old boy from a third-floor balcony in April, 2019. Critically injured with head trauma, the youth miraculously had no brain damage but suffered many injuries including leg and arm fractures. Launched the day after the incident, a fund-raising account eventually received more than $1 million from well-wishers to help pay the medical bills while the young boy recovered from the 40-foot fall. Cards and prayers helped to sustain him. He expressed the following comment via social media: “Don’t worry, I fell off a cliff, but Angels caught me and Jesus loves me, so I’m ok and you will be too!” A little over seven months later, he was back in school without even a limp. Leaving the house, he would blow kisses at his mom. Whenever she would inquire how he was doing, he told her, “Mom, I’m healed, you don’t need to ask anymore.” As we enter the Season of Advent – we might consider getting to know Jesus a little better, following the example of this five-year old boy who seemed to know and understand Him far better than most of us.

For most of our lives, we strive to be independent. We’re told that good parenting will enable us to think for ourselves. As we mature, we realize that there are times we need to affirm ourselves and must learn to “stand on our own two feet” so to speak. While we should always embrace those who encouraged, prodded, and loved us through our lifetime – the concept of self-actualization is affirmed by our society. When we invite Jesus into our lives, there can appear to be a contradiction with what we have been taught. As our culture often communicates a need to outgrow dependence on others, followers of Jesus come to realize that they will never outgrow their need for Him. The Apostle Paul tells us that “This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13). Unlike those earthly child-rearing experts, our Heavenly Father raises us to depend on Him more each day.

To fall in love with Jesus, we must know Him . . . not superficially, but deeply. That kind of knowledge takes time and persistence, just like any good relationship. Jesus invites us to abide in His love, indicating we should not rush through it. In John 15:9, He said, As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.’” Everything changes when you begin to know Jesus as a real person. When you read in John 8:3-11 about Jesus standing by a shamed woman daring the self-righteous to convict her, one can imagine Him doing that for us. As He dined with sinners (Mark 2:15-17), you can feel His presence in your own home breaking bread with your family. When Jesus stopped a suffering woman who in faith touched His cloak to be healed (Mark 5:24-31), you just know He would also pause for you. As we come to embrace these truths, we affirm that Jesus is real, and He loves us. In order for us to experience that love and offer it back, we need to know Him. Really know Him. One who intensely loved Him stated that we must “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18). When you invite Jesus to live in and through you, He will give you the faith you need to persevere. If you trust Him especially when you feel broken and vulnerable, God will use this experience to accomplish good purposes in your life. Jesus will be your source of strength when you can’t rely on your own.

God is always working in the lives of the those who love Him. When His children fall, He will pick them up and dust them off. He will never forsake His faithful ones, and with His righteous right hand He will hold them up (Isaiah 41:10). Here then is the challenge which lies before you: Make a conscious decision to commit to Him, and continue to study and live by His Word. Hold on to God’s promises in your heart and know that He is by your side in every situation. For you see, when you fall in love with Jesus, He will put everything in its rightful place. After all, He was there for a little five year-old-boy who was certain his fall was broken by angels, that Jesus loved him, and that he would be ok. As we move toward Christmas and celebrate His birth once again, you can be assured that the same will be true for you.

REFLECTION: Does the love of God create in you a desire to obey, serve, and to pray to Him each day? Where, or under what circumstances, do you most feel your dependence on Jesus? Are you passionately pursuing your relationship with God by getting to know His Son better? How can we help others fall in love with Jesus and see the Bible as God’s love letter to us, not a rule book of morals to follow?


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