I think one of the main things that makes me want to be as close to Jesus as I can is the personalized touches of His love that He gives me.
He does special things in each of our lives—sometimes we notice, many times we don’t, and other times we notice but don’t peg the credit right. It must be sad for Him, but Jesus loves us too much to give up. On and on throughout our life, He just keeps showing us and saying those three wonderful words: I love you!
As a teen struggling with a myriad of powerful emotions and intense loneliness, I needed to feel that love in a tangible form. One day, I saw by the side of the road the cutest, most adorable miniature pansy. The blossom was no bigger than my fingernail, and the stem only as long as my finger. I picked it and held it carefully all the way home, where I placed it in a paper cup on my bedside table. A week passed, and it was still cheery and bright, as good as new. I was happy.
Then the most curious thing occurred—a “never before, never since” event, in my experience. From the pansy’s tiny stem, roots began growing, which soon extended longer and stronger. I planted it in a flowerpot and saw it grow into a plant with many other blossoms. I was amazed, but also reassured that my Creator—the one who made my pansy grow from nothing—was with me, molding me through the ups and downs, and bringing blossoms of joy my way.
As the days, months, years—and yes, decades—have passed, I’ve learned to better know and love Jesus through countless special touches and displays of His love. Many of these would seem totally insignificant when compared to all the change and miracles that are needed in the entire world—but they’ve made a world of difference to me. He’s proven to me that I matter to Him, and in return, He has won my love forever. As the apostle John wrote, “We love Him because He first loved us.”1