Last night we shared back and forth around the circle how these passages from 1 John have been moving in and through us. The friend to my right highlighted the second half of 1 John 3:1.
“The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know Him.”
He asked what this means for us, and I immediately felt the sting of many of my middle and high school days. The sting of lonely lunch tables mixed with the sweetness of the Savior who was rejected long before I was.
I remember lingering in the bathroom,
hoping the bell would ring and send me to class.
At least there I could pretend no one talked to me merely because it would be against the rules. There I could let them call me Smart Girl and try to forget that only one person besides the teacher knew to call me Katie.
The truth was, despite my firm foundation with a very small handful of friends, I have never been so surrounded and yet so unknown as I was in middle and high school. In some ways, I set myself above everyone else in a legalistic better-than-thou system of living. But in most ways, choosing wisdom at the height of the hormone revolution known as adolescence simply does not pave the way for popularity.
As I found myself reliving the loneliness in part last night, I thought of you, Beloved. And Jesus knew you would need to be reminded today.
If wise choices left you lonely this weekend, Jesus was there.
If your clothes cover enough of your body so the popular guys don’t notice you’re even alive, you’ve never lost His attention.
If people stop talking when you come near because they know you wouldn’t want to continue the gossip, lean into the Helper who lives within you.
And know this: the world doesn’t get you because it never got Jesus.
In fact, we back up in this verse and find unimaginably good news:
“See what kind of love the Father has given to us,
that we should be called children of God; and so we are.”
Soak your heart in this reality today, Beloved. You have a Father who is exceedingly glad to call you His child. Before you face the treacheries of the lunch room and the hall locker hierarchy, see what kind of love!
Tim Keller expounds on the Father’s love this way:
He is our compassionate Father: faithful in love and care, generous and thoughtful, interested in all we do, respecting of our individuality, skillful in training us, wise in guidance, always available, helping us to find ourselves in maturity, integrity and uprightness.
(1 John Leaders Guide, p. 31)
Press into the certain love of your Father today, Beloved. Let His acceptance of you empower you to love despite worldly rejection.
You are not alone, friend. We are never alone. Behold the love of God today. Let Him wrap you up when the world casts you out.
You are wanted.
You are celebrated.
You are seen.
You are loved.