I can remember it clear as day – junior year of college. Philosophy of Religion class. Our professor (who happens to be probabbllyyyy the most brilliant person I know) said something along the lines of “I have come to know the incomprehensible love of Jesus Christ, and I can’t pretend that doesn’t make a difference.”
I nodded my head in agreement, but spent the next several years not exactly knowing what that meant? And although I spent quite a while trying to grasp what he meant, I knew that I wanted to mean it, too – I knew that I wanted the incomprehensible love of Jesus Christ to make a difference in my own life.
This past week, I had the chance to visit two of my dearest friends in seminary. And over the course of those few days, someone asked me why I decided to take this job and move to St. Louis. And although my response was probably somewhere along the lines of “I thought it was God’s will for my life and seemed like an amazing opportunity”, what I really mean is that the incomprehensible love of Jesus Christ has made a difference.
The sheer unlikeliness of this all – starting a new job in a new city, working full time for the Church, the fact that my life is being used for the furthering of the Gospel – astounds me with joy and gratitude. Because I have come to know the incomprehensible love of the living God, the choice was clear – I had to follow Him.
Incomprehensible is hard. Hard because there are days where God doesn’t feel close. Hard because the world tells us that a life of faith isn’t worth it, and certainly tells us that following a God that we can’t see is silly. Hard because our own sin and selfishness can cause us to doubt if God really loves us.
But you know what? Hard is also good. Accepting the “hard” reality that Jesus Christ – the living God – loves us, came to earth to form a relationship with us, died for us, and rose again so we may live with Him forever may be incomprehensible, but it is also life-giving. And most of the times, at least in my own life, it has been easier to pretend like the incomprehensible love of Jesus doesn’t matter. In fact, it’s all too easy to ignore what is right in front of us because we think we know better.
What I have found by admitting that I don’t know better – and in laying down all my fears about the future at the foot of that incomprehensible Love is that I have never been happier. These past several months, although they have had their fair share of difficulties, have been sustained by the promise that the incomprehensible love continues to make a difference. Jesus Christ lives – I know this. He lives so clearly in my life, in the lives of those I love, the teens I work with and the Church I serve. The love makes a difference because even though He died some 2000 years ago, He came that we may have life now.
And only in acknowledging this – by admitting to ourselves and others that the incomprehensible love of Jesus Christ has made a difference – will we come to know incomprehensible joy.