“Jesus loves me. This I know.”
This is a primary thought that has been resonating in my mind and my heart the last nineteen days, little one.
You see, you and I have covered multiple songs during your short span of life thus far, but this one, this one, has been the most revealingly sanctifying and significant so far.
Given, your mother has been a most terrible performer, as I have mangled and butchered the vast majority of the song lyrics.
I couldn’t recall what the bus did after its wheels went round and round, all through the town. Mama didn’t get you the looking glass, billy goat, cart and bull, dog named Rover, or horse and cart (never fear, you got that diamond ring, girlfriend). Mary’s little lamb never quite made it to school; you were just informed that his fleece was white as snow, over and over, and over.
You also got exclusive access to new song editions and alternative lyrics. When we had gotten through the “whole world in His hands” and you were still crying, He then had “even little Dickson in His hands, even little Dickson in His hands”.
While I have fried my sleep-deprived brain trying to recall the operational tasks of the bus, the next “Mama’s gonna buy you” purchase after the diamond ring, and any other details of the little lamb besides his coloring, no other lyric has challenged my mind in the last 2.5 weeks more than, “Jesus loves me. This I know.”
You see, Ann Leland, the song states, “Jesus loves me. This I know, for the Bible tells me so.” Don’t misunderstand, this lyric is absolutely and positively true. Jesus does, indeed, love you, and the Bible definitely tells you so- multiple, multiple times. I hope that as you grow, you discover and pursue His love for you and that you learn and prosper in Him by reading His word and can confidently proclaim, “the Bible tells me so”.
However, in the last 2.5 weeks, I have found that, “Jesus loves me, this I know”, but not just because the Bible tells me so. No, my dear, I have discovered a whole new realm and depth to His love for me in the last 2.5 weeks because of you. Yes, “Jesus loves me, this I know” from each and every time I get to hold and look at you.
It really is unbelievable to me, little one, that any one could ever gaze into the eyes of a child, the eyes of an infant, and not see the wonders and love of God. I get overwhelmed just looking at you. I cannot count on two (hundred) hands the number of times that I have cried from just simply staring at, and watching, you. The first week we were home, your dad was holding you and looked over at me and said, “Are you crying right now?” Through my post-partum hormones and tears, I said, “How do you not cry when you look at her?” Just yesterday, I was sending your “Z” a video of you burping (I repeat, a video of you burping), and I cried re-watching it. While I know that I will look back one day and laugh at myself for crying at a video of you burping, I also know that I will never forget the overwhelming presence of God that is felt each time I look at you. I will never forget realizing, even more so, how much He loves me by the sight of you and your miraculous, beautiful gift of life. It truly is indescribable, despite the fact that I keep writing, trying to explain it.
This leads me to my second point. As the song states, “Jesus loves me. This I know.” However, I never understood how vastly, deeply He loves me, His child, until you were placed on my chest, I held you for the first time, and realized how vastly, deeply I loved you, my child. It is simply unfathomable to me that He can, and does, love me more than I love you, little one.
Yet, He does.
Isn’t that the most beautiful, crazy, humbling thought? As a fleshly parent, I tell myself that no one could possibly love you more than I do. I tell myself that no one could possibly be your bigger fan, that no one could possibly be as captivated and as enamored with you as me.
Yet, He is.
Yes, my sweet Ann Leland, Jesus loves me, this I know, for I know how much I love you. It is seriously the most astounding, sanctifying, fleshly-devastating, incomprehensible concept that He is that good, that He loves us and cares for us that deeply, that He is that enchanted and captivated with and by us, His children. While I cannot, from an imperfect human mind, imagine how He loves me more than I love you, I believe and trust that He does, and I am so very thankful.
Therefore, I pray that you feel His presence and love in your life, for He loves you endlessly. I pray that you discover at an early age “little ones to Him belong”. I pray that in times of uncertainty and that when you face trials you find hope and strength in, “They are weak, but He is strong”. I pray that your path, decision-making, and each step you take in life are guided by the truths that “the Bible tells me so”.
I pray that one day, if you forget the nursery rhyme, when your eyes are closing with fatigue and you can’t recall what happened “Down by the Bay” or to Mary’s little lamb, that you remember one song. I pray you remember this only song that matters and the message that I will strive and hope as a parent to teach you, more than anything in this world.
I pray that one day you get the indescribable, life-changing, and overpowering opportunity to look into the eyes of your child, feel His overwhelming presence and grace, and realize in that moment just how vastly and deeply He loves you.
For He does, and so do I.