My toddler JC was listening to praise and worship music today, he says to me, "Mommy, play that song, I will sing and you dance."
JC was belting it out to "Jesus Loves Me" when I heard something unusual... "Jesus loves me, this time out.. "
At first, I thought it was funny and started to laugh but then I began to think a 'lil deeper... When my son is misbehaving, he goes to "time out" for a few minutes. When he is calm, we sit together and talk about what happened, then find a way to resolve the issue. I don't just talk at JC; I encourage him to share what he is feeling or thinking, and help me find a solution. I often tell JC to "ask for help if you need" or "you can always say a prayer and Jesus will help you."
What my son was really singing was that Jesus loves him, even when he makes a mistake. Even when my son -- or any of us - is not at our best, Jesus loves us. Maybe we have hurt someone or broken the rules, maybe we lashed out in anger, or just let a bad day get the best of us...in our "time out" - in our struggles, in our pain, at the times we have pushed everyone else away Jesus loves us. Wholly. Unconditionally. Without reservation.
Jesus will bring light to our dark times. He will heal. Restore. And forgive.
Just like I had been teaching my son through the use of "time out", I could apply a similar approach to my faith walk. To take a moment approach Jesus with a humble heart, willing to accept His instruction. To submit my will, my ideas, my way of doing things to Jesus. To confess my faults, and turn away from wrongdoing.
"Jesus loves me, this time out..." This simple song was a gentle but powerful reminder - a few minutes in "time out" was enough to help change my son's behavior, a few minutes (or more) with God would be life changing. I need a "time out" with Jesus.
~ Daylen Swift, 2015
Joel 2:13,"Rend your heart, and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity."
Proverbs 8:17, "I love those who love Me, and those who diligently seek me will find me."
Psalm 139:23-24, "Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!"