This past Wednesday evening, during our monthly Communion Service, Kylie took an opportunity to crawl into my lap. She turned her head toward me and started resting it on my shoulder, then she moved it back and forth while snuggling in; as if she just wanted to press in and absorb every ounce of love I could give her in that moment. It was precious! A little love snuggle I will remember for years to come.
I believe it’s natural for us to think of having these kinds of responses from our children, but in the book of John, we can read about a similar tender moment between John, one of the original twelve apostles, and Jesus. John 13:23 says, “One of the disciples, the one Jesus loved dearly, was reclining against him, his head on his shoulder.”
In those days, it was customary to sit two to three on a couch, each leaning on their left elbow, while sharing a meal; and it was easy to rest on the shoulder or arm of the person to the side if it was a close relationship. John, sharing a seat next to Jesus, obviously felt comfortable pressing in and enjoying a tender moment. I believe it’s because he knew how loved he was by Jesus. It seems He lived His life from that place, even referring to himself as the disciple whom Jesus loved as we saw in the verse above.
We can learn a lot from John. Life has a lot more joy when we live with a deep awareness of how loved and accepted we are by Jesus, and of the tender intimacy that is available in our relationship with Him. We are the disciples whom Jesus loves. I am. You are. And like John we all have a place of honor close to our savior, just as it says in Ephesians 2:6, “And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.” We are all have access to his ear to share our thoughts, needs and prayers; His strength to lean on. We can press in and enjoy the intimacy of being in a love relationship with Him.
When we live our lives knowing how loved we are, it truly puts everything else into the right perspective. Our God who loves us as much as he does, wants what is best for us in every way. We can trust Him; we can enjoy intimacy with Him. He hears our cries, and heals our hurts. He promises to work all things out for good. My prayer for you today is that you will press in to Him, lean on His strength and live aware of how loved you are!