Layer by Layer

We get to know a person better over time, because we see their layers. Like an onion before you, they peel back layer by layer. How they act when they’re mad, sad, happy, scared, lonely and what gets them that way….We learn what they prioritize, what they don’t, what they’ve been through, what they’ve learned, and what they struggle with. All layers.

When we are born, we have only the layers applied by our genetic DNA. These layers may predisposition us towards certain behaviors, but circumstances haven’t happened yet. Brand new, clean slate, fully loved, and fully open to our Creator. The One who loved us and knitted us together in our mother’s womb (Psalms 139:13). Then, life starts. Bumps, bruises, brokenness, betrayals. Layers are added one by one. Individual and personal like our unique fingerprints, these layers are added to our cores. Our innocence, openness, and view of the world around us changes.

The way I see it, the world adds layers and the Lord longs to remove and replace them with His blessed layers of grace, love, and peace. The devil wants us weighed down and covered in fear, anger, and hurt over the layers added by ourselves and others. Ask God daily to remove what needs to go and replace what He wants us to have.

I also think that the layers that bring the most tears and are the hardest to pull back, bring the sweetest relief and relationship with our Savior. Only God can turn our most bitter onion layer into our dark chocolate or raspberry layer. A layer we wouldn’t trade because it drew us to Him and keeps pointing us back to Him. Our hardest layers become our sweetest layers. Because we bring it to the Light and let God in, our relationship deepens. He wants us aware that we are just as fully loved with our layers as we were fresh from the wombs. Then, His replacement work starts…

Like the prodigal son’s return, each layer that we ask God to remove brings Him enormous pleasure because we are that much closer to Him. The relief and joy it brings us pales in comparison to His excitement for asking Him in. He already knows each layer, it’s up to us to come before Him, allow Him in, and ask for His help. He wants us at our cores before Him. That was His plan since the Garden of Eden. It wasn’t until sin entered in, that Adam and Eve felt any need to cover themselves with leaves…layers.

When someone gets to know me, may my layers of pain and shame be a testimony to God’s redemptive power. May He get the glory for replacing those layers with His own. And, may God continue to peel away what is keeping me from being as close to Him as I can be. Bosom to bosom, heart to heart.

 

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My Sweet Jesus

jesus

I love to ponder the human aspect of Jesus. Yesterday, I was thinking about how cool it would be to have lunch with him. I imagined him eating a fish taco (I think He would like them) with me on my lunch break, listening, talking, caring. Like He had nowhere else to be. Just us. Me and my sweet Jesus.

The fact that He even ate astounds me. His body was human, His mind was human, He had taste buds, He would get tired, He felt hunger and thirst. Focusing on the human aspect of Jesus comforts me and makes my heart swell for Him. He knows what it’s like. Because He was human, He sympathizes with us. Not only with our physical pains and discomforts, but with our emotions.

Jesus understands every weakness of ours, because he was tempted in every way that we are. But he did not sin! So whenever we are in need, we should come bravely before the throne of our merciful God. There we will be treated with undeserved grace, and we will find help. Hebrews‬ ‭4:15-16‬ ‭(CEV)

I’m sure He felt the desire for revenge. I know He felt anger and frustration. I can only assume He felt physical desires and temptations that a normal growing boy and man would. He took on all our stuff and all our tendencies. Without sinning. Without caving. Yet, He felt and fought like we do. He knows the struggle. Jesus literally took it all and died because He KNEW we couldn’t withstand. My sweet Jesus.

Jesus lived to please His Father in heaven. He loved and honored his earthly parents, but He didn’t live to please them. He loved His disciples as beloved friends, yet corrected and patiently taught them when their minds couldn’t comprehend His teachings. He loved Mary Magdalene and the woman at the well. He showered them with compassion and dignity when they expected the opposite. He healed the woman who reached to touch His robe and brought peace to the demon possessed man in the cemetery. The way He loved them proved that He lived to please His Father. Rather than condemning, He pointed out that all have sinned. He covered them all in His grace and they were forever changed because of it. He LOVED them all just as they were. And, that changed everything. He does the same for us. My sweet Jesus.

He lived a human life fully surrendered to the will of His Father. Now, since He withstood our struggles and paid the penalty for our sins, we can come boldly to our Father God unashamed. Oh, how He loves.

This brings me great joy! This means He desires a relationship with us. And, once we feel that closeness, we’ll realize how much we have desired it all along. My sweet Jesus.❤️