Give me a word, Lord: I DON’T UNDERSTAND

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

There was young boy selling newspapers on a very cold day in a large city. The temperatures had dropped. It was bitterly cold out. It was so cold that when the boy came upon a police officer, he asked, “Do you know where a cold boy could find a warm place to sleep tonight?” The policeman looked at him, and then said, “Go down the street to the big white house, and knock on the door. When someone answers, say ‘John 3:16’.” So the boy did as he was instructed, and knocked on the door. When the door opened, he said, “John 3:16,” and he was immediately invited in. He sat there and thought to himself, “I don’t understand this John 3:16, but it sure makes a cold boy warm.” Later, the lady of the house prepared a hot meal for the boy. As he ate, he thought, “I don’t understand this John 3:16, but it sure makes a hungry boy full.” After filling his tummy, the lady took him up to a huge bathroom with a big tub. The boy recalled that this was the first real bath he had ever had in his life, and he thought, “I don’t understand this John 3:16, but it sure makes a dirty boy clean.” After the bath, the lady took the boy to a nice bedroom with a big feather bed, and she tucked him in and kissed him good night, and the boy thought, “I don’t understand this John 3:16, but it sure makes a tired boy rested.” The next morning, the lady asked if he understood John 3:16. The boy confessed that he had never even heard of it until the night before. The lady sat down with her worn bible, opened it to John 3:16, and explained the scripture to him. He accepted Christ into his heart that very day.

Now, I don’t know if this is a true story or not, and I can’t give credit to the original author as I can not find out who wrote it, but I definitely think it is a story worth repeating. John 3:16 is probably one of the most memorized and recited verses in the Bible, but do we understand it? Sometimes, you must go back to thinking like a child to really understand something so very complicated. We could never truly understand how God could send His only son to die for you and for me. How could God do that? How could He love us that much? When I look back on my life, and I think about all of the times that I have royally messed up, I have to wonder how could God send His son to die for me? The thought of it brings me to tears when I think of the suffering that Christ did on the cross so that this goofball could be forgiven of all of my sins and mistakes in order to make me right with God. I’ll never understand how He could love me that much. That kind of love is absolutely incomprehensible.

But God…oh, but God, He loves us. He loves us no matter what out past looks like. He makes a cold boy warm. The very thought of the love that Christ shows for us is enough to warm the coldest heart. That love can melt the iciest of hearts, and it can even turn hearts of stone into hearts of flesh. Yes, that love makes a cold heart warm. The love of Christ also fills us up when we are feeling empty. When we receive Christ as our Savior, we are filled with the Holy Spirit. We are filled with joy, love, and peace that transcends all understanding. The love of Christ certainly makes a hungry person feel full. When we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior, He washes away all of our sins. The blood of Christ ran red so that we might be made as white as snow. He wipes the slate clean. No matter how dirty we are at the moment we come to Him, He washes away all of the filth and grime of our past life, and cleans us up and makes us new. Yes, the love of Christ makes a dirty person clean. When we have Christ, we don’t have to worry and fret and wear ourselves down the way we tend to be in the habit of doing. Jesus tells us to take His yoke upon us and we will find rest for our souls. Resting in Christ is definitely the best place to rest. I had a rather tough day Monday. It was a typically busy day, but in addition to the heavy workload, I received sad news after sad news. I learned of a death of a friend, made a diagnosis of cancer in a child, and by the end of the day, I felt defeated. As I lay in bed that night, I began my nightly prayers with my eyes hot with tears. I fell asleep praying in the arms of my Lord. You want to know something? When you fall asleep in the arms of the Savior, you wake up the next morning in the arms of the Savior, and there is no place on earth I would rather be!

Yes, I may not completely understand John 3:16 either. I will never understand how God could love a lowly sinner like me enough to give His Son to die for me, but I am so thankful that He did. John 3:16: I don’t understand it, but I believe it with every ounce of my being! I thank God that He loves me despite myself!

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