After I wrote in my last post about being in a cocoon of God’s love and enjoying God’s presence, I thought, “How did that actually happen? What caused it?” I had to think back to that last session at the conference. And I remembered that the speaker referred to Jesus riding into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey.
I don’t exactly remember how it happened but I began to picture myself as one of the throng outside the walls of Jerusalem lifting up palm branches, welcoming the King, shouting, “Hosanna!” I can see Him coming, riding on the donkey, but there are so many people around that there’s no way for Him to notice me in the back of such a crowd. I’m trying to wiggle myself closer but everyone is pressing in tighter. They want to get close just like I do. And just like them, my desire, no! my longing increases. “If only I could have just a moment of His time. If I could even get a glance from Him, then I’ll know that He loves me. That He notices me.” My intense longing for Him means everything to me. And I’m yelling along with everyone else: “Jesus! Look over here! Here I am! Hosanna to the King!”
Then suddenly the donkey stops. Jesus slips off the donkey’s back. The crowd quiets and then begins to part as Jesus starts walking. And He’s walking in my direction! How can this be? He certainly can’t be walking towards me! Maybe there’s some important official standing in back of me and He’s headed for him. But Jesus’ direction doesn’t change and He’s looking at me!
And then Jesus stands right in front of me. He’s looking right in my eyes! His gaze is absolutely loving. Accepting. Welcoming. Attractive. Yet at the same time, He knows my sin, my waywardness, my selfishness. Yet along with that, there’s forgiveness, grace, and mercy as He searches my eyes. The cocoon of love begins as I feel as if Jesus has wrapped His arms around me.
Within a split second, Jesus is back on the donkey, the air is filled again with the throng’s cries, and I stand in awe that Jesus loves me. Jesus loves me! Not only did He notice me, He changed direction for me. I am valuable and loved.
It was that encounter with Jesus that accompanied me all the way home, enveloping me in that cocoon of love. During that drive, I enjoyed God’s presence and longed for the drive to never end.
As I said in my last post, I’ve never felt God’s presence again in that intense way to that degree. But even the memory strengthens me to long for God by enjoying Him.