As I sat in church, the minister asked the question, "What is the mountain in your life?" He told us to take a few minutes to meditate about it. I thought about things I had not been able to overcome in my life. My biggest mountain was definitely the lack of forgiveness I felt for people who I thought had hurt me or wronged me in some way. I could easily walk out of people's lives, and hold a grudge for twenty years or for the rest of my life for that matter.
As I thought about these things, I felt a deep wrenching pain in my heart, even physical pain as though my heart was being squeezed tight in my chest. I bowed my head. I knew what the Bible says about forgiveness. I thought, Jesus is probably mad at me.
Still feeling the pain in my heart, I thought to myself ... look for the face of Jesus. I had read that somewhere, but I didn't think I would literally see Him. If I did, I was sure He would come condemning me.
As I was thinking I should look for His face, I raised my eyes, and I couldn't have been more surprised by what I saw. I saw Jesus -- He was actually there! It was just His face, but he was alive, and moving around. He had dark, shoulder-length hair with light streaks of gray, and He was wearing a crown of thorns. I just gazed up at Him, and He was smiling at me with the most loving smile I had ever seen in my life!
The first thing I thought was - He looks a little different than He does in His pictures, but only slightly different. I had expected His hair to be longer, and His nose was a little different.
I felt no condemnation from Him at all. That greatly surprised me. Next I felt Him sending me love that was full of sympathy and compassion. It was an overwhelming kind of love that I was sure human beings aren't capable of. I was in awe that He could love me that much. It was blissful. I was totally absorbed by that love, to the point where I felt my heart could burst. I have never felt anything like it, and I'm sure that I never will as long as I'm on this earth.
I just continued to gaze up at Him. He continued to smile at me like I was the only person on earth who mattered to Him, though I'm sure He must look at each one of us that way. Throughout the whole vision, He never once stopped smiling at me.
Next, I saw Him sending beams of transparent, white light towards my heart. I felt the light penetrating my being. The light felt like nothing, other than pure love and compassion. Jesus was very kind and loving towards me -- not condemning at all. I only sensed a strong outpouring of love from Him. He seemed perfect in His goodness and kindness.
Next He began to communicate to me, but no words were used. He communicated by sending me feelings. There was knowledge in the feelings that I understood easily and clearly as it was transferred into my mind.
He said that He already knew about it all -- my lack of forgiveness towards others -- how I had been hurt by other people, and the circumstances in my life that had made me feel that way. He said, "I know everything about you." That surprised me greatly, but I also felt comforted by it. It meant that He had never been far from me like I had always thought. I realized that I had been constantly under His supervision, like when our children are small, and we never let them out of our eyesight.
Again, I felt more compassion from Him pouring out to me. He said, "I feel your pain. I grieve with you." He was like a loving parent who will pick you up when you are hurting, and hold you in his loving arms. He will comfort you, and wipe away all of your tears. I actually felt like I had been comforted, and held in the arms of Jesus.
After He comforted me, He spoke again. He told me not to worry or concern myself with these things because He would take care of it for me. I sensed an incredible strength in Him. I felt like a burden had been lifted, and I felt like He could easily carry all of my burdens. We have all been taught about the meek and humble man, but he exuded strength, and I could feel it.
I was still looking at Him. I was still surprised by some of the things that He said. He was still looking at me. He still wore that loving smile on his face that would melt the heart of the worst hardened sinner. He was still sending me love, and it was to overflowing. There was so much love that I felt like my heart couldn't hold it all, and it may burst if I took in much more. I began to feel like I couldn't handle it anymore. Maybe in human form we can't. I don't know.
Seeing all of the goodness and purity in Him, I felt like I may break down into tears and sobs. I started to feel unworthy of His pure holiness. He was a soul at the highest level of perfection. Seeing this makes you aware of even your smallest sins. I felt unworthy of Him, and then I looked away.
When I looked back, He wasn't there anymore, but I was left with a feeling of total awe. Jesus had been there. I had seen Him. I had felt Him. He had communicated with me. The thing I was left knowing, above everything else, was that He loved me more than anyone had ever loved me in my life!
A few days later, I thought about how I had sat in church that day knowing I had sinned. Yet, Jesus had blessed me with a wonderful vision. I knew he still loved me, unconditionally, in spite of my flaws. I thought, how can this be?...
Later that night, I started to read the Bible, the book of John. Jesus answered my question clearly:
John 3:16: "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that who so ever believeth on him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
As I read further it said: "For God sent not his son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned, but he that believeth not is already condemned because he has not believed."
I had sought to know Him with my whole heart and soul, and He had not disappointed me. He had restored in my spirit my willingness to forgive all who had wronged me, because love cancels out anger, fear, resentment, and any other negative emotion you can imagine.
I remembered that He had worn the crown of thorns in my vision. I now realize that they were meant to be symbolic, a reminder to me of how He loved us all enough to be lifted up, and crucified on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins. The crown of thorns are a symbol of his love that He feels for each one of us. He had truly shown me how to forgive.
I saw Jesus again...
I read about The Jesus Prayer. It is a meditation where you repeat a phrase over and over again to Jesus. The first time I said The Jesus Prayer, I said, "Jesus, the Son of God, have mercy on me." I had been laying in bed for some time saying the prayer when my six-year-old daughter came into the room, and asked me for a glass of water. When I rolled over and opened my eyes, I saw a small cross in the corner of my bedroom, up next to the ceiling. It was wooden, about four inches long, with four gold bands around all four sides. I looked at it for several, long seconds. I saw it clearly, and was able to make out all of the details on it. When I looked away it was gone.
The second time I said The Jesus Prayer, I said, "Jesus, the Son of God, I trust in You." I had been saying the prayer for awhile as I lay in bed. I finally started to drift off to sleep. Suddenly, I was stirred from my sleep.
As I returned to consciousness, I saw the back of myself, the back of my head and shoulders. Then I saw two arms reaching around my neck to hug me. As this person drew me into His embrace, I saw the face of Jesus looking over the back of my shoulder while He was hugging me, and then He smiled at me; the me that was watching the vision! I thought, He is just too kind to me!
I just can't help loving him!
If you feel distant from God ... Karen's tender and inspired words will put a desire in your heart to draw closer to Jesus Christ in ways you may not be able to fathom ... until you read the precious accounts the Holy Spirit has inspired her to write in this book.
The gift God has given her to put in words to express her love for the One who died for the sins of the world, and offers that same love and forgiveness to you and I ... grab a box of tissues before you start reading what she has written. Tears are going to flow!
We cannot encourage you enough to obtain a copy of this "LOVE LETTER OF APPRECIATION TO JESUS" ... if you feel like God is a gazillion miles away from you right now. He doesn't have to be!
You can obtain a copy of "Karen's heart and love for Jesus in print" (my personal feeling about what this book really is, because My heart too yearns to meet our Jesus as Karen writes about her encounters with Him!)