Jesus Loves Me, but I Suspect that I’m Not Playing with a Full Deck.

Many years ago after a long and very disappointing search for spiritual meaning in most of the major Christian denominations and even some other world religions, I was encouraged to say a prayer, “Jesus Christ, if you are who you claim to be, I want you to be my Savior and Lord.” This was not connected to any denomination. I didn’t expect anything, because as I explained to the woman challenging me, I didn’t believe in God and I thought Jesus was a very good man, but a delusional idealist that got himself killed. At first, nothing happened and I felt pretty safe that nothing would.

Then suddenly I simply knew with my whole self – mind, heart and spirit, that I was loved unconditionally by God, even though for some years like Madalyn Murray O’Hair, I had opposed anything Christian in the public sector. Suddenly, things from Scripture, which in my search I had read from beginning to end, came together with things I had learned when recently getting a degree in Psychology. And I was filled to overflowing with total mind blowing joy.

That was forty-seven years ago and my journey has since been centered on the person of Jesus as the Love of God fleshed out so we can understand it, experience it, and learn to love like that. I have found that there are some people in all the denominations who “get” that. But all the denominations have pieces of the puzzle that they emphasize to the detriment of the whole picture. Most of humanity including nominal Christians- have simply missed the point of Jesus Christ. To me the greatest tragedy I see in today’s broken world is that Christians are turning people off before they can discover the Love of God in Jesus.

To discover that Love of God in Jesus we pretty much need to put everything we were taught or heard on hold in a mental file, and spend some serious time getting to know the man Jesus personally, discovering in the New Testament that he grew and changed in how he understood his faith and even his ministry over and over until He “got” it and was God’s perfect expression of Love that we could know in the flesh. Then we too will be able to live that process of becoming Love…..never perfectly……sometimes falling under the weight of our human imperfections, but mostly inching closer by seeking grace. It will not be exactly the same or on the same schedule as anyone else, because we are all different. We weren’t all dealt the same hand. Frankly, I think I am one of those who isn’t playing with a full deck.

But God, and only God, knows what we each have to work with, so only God knows how well we are playing the hand we were dealt. We can’t even judge ourselves, never- the-less anyone else. I also learned in my search that the mystics (those that have encountered the Love of God powerfully and personally) of all the world’s religions say pretty much the same thing, “We are all one and whatever we do to anyone, we do to all.”  Jesus said, “Whatever you do to the least, you do to me.” You would think that we would be a lot more careful how we treat people, even those we may unfortunately be inclined to consider outsiders or sinners.

I can’t help but wanting to share the Love of God I have experienced through Jesus.  But I have learned the hard way, that trying to force our own particular Christian beliefs on those who have not experienced the Love of God, is the mostly likely way to prevent them from becoming open to that experience of Love. We can let the world know what we believe. We can teach our children what we believe. But when we force those beliefs on those who have not experienced the Love of God, we risk being responsible for closing their minds and hearts to God.

I have seen over these forty-seven years that each person’s journey is different and though saying that particular prayer has validity and meaning, it doesn’t always have an immediate impact like it did for me at that point in time in my search. Each person is different and each person’s timing on their journey is different. I think some of us are like the prodigal and some of us are like the older brother. I have seen truly kind and good church going people who believe in the Love of God, but only finally experience it with that explosive joy through a personal encounter with Jesus in their seventies or even later.

“Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you.” It’s a lifelong personal journey of growing and learning and the high points come at different times and in different ways for all of us. Perseverance is the key.

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About Eileen

Mother of five, grandmother of eleven, great-grandmother of seven, 1955 -1959 Rice University in Houston, TX. Taught primary grades; Was Associate Post Director of Religious Education at Ft. Campbell, KY; Consultant on the Myers/Briggs Type Indicator; Presently part time Administrative Assistant/Bookkeeper for Architect husband of fifty-seven years. Blog: Laughter: Carbonated Grace

Posted on May 1, 2016, in Answered Prayer, B4Peace, faith, forcing Christianity on others., Forgiveness, Healing, Jesus, Judging, Love, Mental Health, Personality, Prayer, rebirth, Saved by grace and not by law, spiritual growth, spirituality, Teaching/Learning Experiences and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. It’s really amazing how God speaks to us, one day a passage or a prayer is so meaningful and profound and we have ears to hear and apply it right away, and then later on these specific words of God don’t really carry that much weight in the moment, yet they played a part in getting us to where we are right then. This transitory/mercurial nature of the Word and our relationship with it should not negate God’s love for us, but instead we should be even more hopeful that the Word is alive!
    I am honored that you followed my blog, by the way. I found your wonderful blog either by the tag ‘mystical’ or ‘mystical experience’ so I hope we can share our experiences with the Divine. I just posted ‘A Conversion’ which began the whole journey with God and has inspired everything I write about. God bless, Eileen.

    • I’m delighted to connect with you also. I started my blog at the age of 75 and it opened up the world for me.
      I love getting to know people of all ages, nationalities, religions, and cultures.
      I have a sort of eclectic spirituality having found that the mystics of most religions seem to agree that we are all one….our separation
      is an illusion. And whatever we do to anyone and to creation affects all. I think Jesus was saying the same thing when he said, “Whatever you do to the least of my brethren, you do unto me.” And I love the Scriptures because they are so alive and the Spirit helps us hear their relevance today, even the parts that contradict each other.

  2. Dear Eileen, I was already having a “filled up to overflowing” day, but having read this I’m ready to get up and dance in the Spirit!! I think I love your title best–because I’m SURE I’m not playing with a full deck; but I’m even more certain–“know that I know that I know” how much our Father God, our Lord Jesus love and care for me (and even laugh with me!). I’d been a Christian since I got saved at 13 or 14–but I didn’t know jack till I was 59 and had an epiphany much like what you described. The Holy Trinity swooped in and poured out the revelation that Jesus wanted an intimate relationship with me–not for me to stay locked up and miserable, trying to follow “religion”. I learned about His Grace–so I could start walking in that, instead of relentless shame/guilt. And I discovered what Abundant Life is–that it’s meant for us to enjoy here and now–not wait for pie in the sky when we finally struggle to climb that ladder to Heaven.

    I’m so glad I met you here, Eileen–you’re a treasure! God bless you BIG! xxoo, Stella/Shadeau

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