To grasp is to grip firmly; to struggle, snatch, grope for; to understand (especially with effort).

I’ve been out of professional youth ministry for a month now and can I be honest? It’s been awesome! As Facebook fills up with pictures of my former co-workers out at late night events, eating pizza and ice cream (after turning 30 this caused major issues with my pants), and camps with middle schoolers, I’m spending the first summer in 7 years with my family.

Unemployed and loving it

Now I know my unemployment will eventually begin to stress me out, but for now, I’m enjoying every minute of it!

I’m also free for the first time in 7 years to read the Bible with no agenda other than spending time with Jesus. As “religious professionals”, we all say we spend time with Jesus apart from the time we get paid to spend with Him, but again, can I be honest? It is almost impossible to separate the two.

Since I have now had time to “grasp” for the sake of “grasping” not for the purpose of performing or teaching or admonishing, I thought I would share with you overworked, tired and busy “religious professionals” what I’ve been grasping at… how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.

For the sake of knowing him, not a profession

I’ve been re-reading the Gospels. Listening to the story of Jesus just for the purpose of being in awe of him, not trying to figure out how to teach Him to others. Not looking for the biblical principles of how to live your life and how to deal with stress, and marriage, and children, and sin. Just reading to know Him better.

Think of the width of Christ’s love. Jesus Christ said, “When I am lifted up, I will draw all men to myself.” It says in Revelation 5:9, “You have redeemed us by your blood out of every tongue, tribe, people and nation.” How amazing! How wide! The cross declares no matter what you are or who you are or what you’ve done or, for that matter, who you’ve done… it doesn’t matter whether you’re at the very gates of hell… it doesn’t matter if you are a serial killer… all, anyone, everyone can be saved. As I have engaged friendships outside the walls of the church for the first time in a long time, grasping at this truth… seeing Jesus dying on the cross saying, “I will draw all men” has re-engaged my heart.

From East to West

The length of love of Christ. Look at the cross. The Bible tells us that Jesus was the lamb slain before the foundation of the world. That means over the centuries, throughout the ages, Jesus Christ says “I’m going to sacrifice my life for them”… for us! And he came and he waited.

He came even though we rejected Him, even though He was misunderstood, even though He was scorned, even though He was lonely, even though we spat on Him, He came. He relentlessly loved us. What length! He started before time began and He never gave up.

What’s the height of God’s love? Jesus says “I died so you might be where I am.” In John 17, He says, “Father, I want them to have the glory we had before the world began.” He says, “I go to prepare a place for you. In my Father’s house there are many mansions.”

What of the depths of God’s love? When Jesus said, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me” he had fallen into the deepest hole into which anyone could fall. The depths. Nobody has ever been down that far.

Jesus’ life and death for you and me provides endless grasping of His love.

So stop preparing for a minute and just be glad it’s all about grasping grace.