By Kelsey Sorvick
The opening of a new year typically inspires me to start reading through the Bible with a renewed fervor. The plan I chose this year has directed me to first read through the book of John. I cannot help but observe how the author, John of course, refers to himself simply yet profoundly as, “the disciple whom Jesus loved”. In fact, six times throughout John's account of Jesus' life and ministry, he refers to himself by this nomenclature, rather than by his given name.
I wish I more frequently remembered that my value, worth, and identity lie in the fact that I am loved by God, and THAT IS IT. The thought is freeing indeed. In our bustling culture, it can often feel that the bar is set pretty high. Pressure to constantly be “the one who has it all together” can often leave us feeling heavy laden. It's no wonder that we can rather quickly succumb to anxiety, depression, or feeling frazzled and overwhelmed.
In Matthew 11:29-30 Jesus tell us, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light”.
This verse infers that humility causes us to recognize that God is God, and we are not. And to acknowledge that simple truth brings rest to our weary souls. God shows His love for us by giving us true rest. When we feel heavy laden, our minds and souls can be at rest knowing that our identity is found in God's love for us, and nothing else.
We don't know the finer details of John's life. We don't know if he was “the one who had it all together”. Perhaps his life was a train wreck in the eyes of the world. But what we do know is that he was secure in his identity as “the disciple whom Jesus loves”. We see him, in John 13:25, leaning on Jesus' breast at the Last Supper, a physical representation of the state of rest that our souls are in when we allow our value to lie in God's love for us.
Let us all remind ourselves daily that we are “a disciple whom Jesus loves”. And let that simple truth change our mindset as we move through each day, transforming our worn and weary souls into hearts and minds that can experience rest.