The Jingle Bell and Joy to the World advertisements shout that I’m supposed to be joyful, yet I find my idealistic heart grieving for losses, especially losses of family members, whether they’ve passed on or are just lost to me on this earth.

In my darkest valleys, where I’m not able to see Jesus for who he is, he touches me in the way I need.

Mary, drowned by her grief, needed to hear her name (John 20:14). She was so blinded by grief, she didn’t recognize Jesus standing right in front of her until he called her name. At the sound of his voice, Mary was jolted back into the reality of her history with Jesus. He knew her and all her demons well, yet loved her anyway.

Thomas, suffocating in doubt, needed to feel Jesus’ hands (John 20:24-29). Thomas needed a personal touch to bring him out of his doubts which were choking the life out of him. He was so plagued by his unanswered questions that he stood stagnant, unable to move forward. Thomas was probably thinking, “Yeah, I hear you brothers talking about seeing our Lord, but I can’t believe you unless I feel him myself!”

Maybe like Thomas, you’re the kind of person who isn’t convinced by hearing other’s stories, but need validation through first-hand experience. Maybe like Mary, you’re the kind of person who isn’t convinced by seeing physical evidence, but need to hear your name spoken.

Jesus reaches us in the specific, personalized touch we need in order to be encouraged and hopeful. He knows all of our wants and needs.

Like me, do you need that personal touch today?

He touched me,

Oh, he touched me,

And, Oh, the joy that floods my soul,

Something happened, and now I know,

He touched me and made me whole.

Hymn, He Touched Me, by William Gaither

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