Jesus is so good.

Sometimes Jesus just seems too good.

In the month of December, as I spent time learning and treasuring the story of how Jesus came into this world I had a few moments where my heart couldn’t handle how sweet it all is. I can read about Jesus all day long, my heart and my life are committed to him and I love him so much but I think God gives us special glimpses… He lets us into His glory and it’s almost too good.

As I thought upon Jesus coming into this world and as I watched the Christmas program at Manantial, my heart couldn’t contain the intense awe that came over me. The fact that God came into this world as a baby. This tiny little baby held hope, truth, love, that would change the world. How wonderful. It isn’t the story people guessed or people want to really believe, but it is true.

In Juquila a few weeks ago, my husband and I stood in the town center and we saw three different people crawling into the temple. For those who may not know, the town of Juquila is known for the Santuario (Sanctuary) de Juquila which houses a 30 cm statue of the Virgin Mary, which has been venerated since the 16th century. In 1633, it survived, completely intact, by a fire that destroyed the village in which it was originally located. At the beginning of the 18th century, it was moved to its current location where the sanctuary was built for it. Thousands visit this Virgin from across the state of Oaxaca, other parts of Mexico and abroad. The people who make the pilgrimage to the virgin believe they will have more favor if they go in by more difficult means. We had heard before that people crawled into the temple but it was crazy to actually see these people right in front of us, looking in so much pain, knees bandaged up, crawling in hopes of receiving favor from this doll.

I just wanted to go pick them up and tell them how loved they were and that Jesus came to fulfill the law and all the things we could never do. God had made a way and there was hope. It’s too good. And it’s all about Jesus and Gods glory. It isn’t about us and something we must do, it’s about the heart of God and what He has done.

It’s hard for us to put down our religion, our works, our efforts. We want to make ourselves right before God. We want to crawl and suffer and be recognized as someone who has made great sacrifice and effort. Jesus and the love story he has written is beautiful. It’s utter humility, and it’s opposite of what this world tells us the way to freedom and being loved is. It seems too good to be true. But when we surrender to what we think or feel the way to the Father should be, there is a sweetness that is better than life.

“Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.” Psalm 63:3

-Annie Balsley, GEM Missionary

If you’d like to support Brett and Annie as they serve with GEM in Juquila to share the gospel with this unreached town, you can do so HERE. You can also contact them directly to talk further about what it means to be on their support team and find out how you can be praying for them!