Contemporary English Version (CEV)
I'm sure you've seen the t-shirt that says 'I aspire to be the person my dog thinks I am.' I love watching dogs get so excited when their owner gets home -- it's like Christmas happens every single day. We tried to teach our dogs not to jump on the cars, but they were just too excited that we had come home. They couldn't wait to get to us. It's as though dogs are filled with the purest, most unconditional love, and they don't care where we've been, they're just glad we've come home.
I think that sometimes we wonder if Jesus can really love us. We think that because Jesus knows us so well, because he knows what people are like, because he understands the heart, that there is no way Jesus could love us as richly and purely as he says he will. We think we're not worthy, and so we distance ourselves from God.
Yes, Jesus knows us completely and intimately, but this doesn't make Jesus turn from us. Jesus rushes to us, taking our mess as his own and redeeming us out of our sin. He knows what I am like. He knows what you are like. And he loves us as his own, ascending the cross so that he may spend eternity with us, so that his peace may permeate our lives. Don't turn from Christ out of fear that he may not accept you as you are -- turn to him in gratitude and amazement that he embraces us, coming to us in our situation and offering us grace and unconditional love.