My pastor’s sermon can be summed up in one question:
How are you telling people about Jesus?
I decided that this blog isn’t worth anything if I don’t tell you about my Jesus. So here we go…
My Jesus is a Light. Biblically, He is the Light of the World (John 8:12). Personally, He was the Light I clung to in 2021. He was the Light I looked for in 2020. Out of all the darkness that I’ve faced in my life, He is the constant, unwavering Light in the middle of suffocating chaos. The summer of 2021 brought an uncharacteristically black depression into my life. I’ve lived through teenaged depression and angst. I’ve survived post-partum depression. But this summer – a solid three months – I had trouble getting out of bed. I couldn’t find a reason to keep going. I felt more useless, directionless, numb, and empty during this past summer than I have in my entire life. I went through the motions and prayed God would show up. I sang along to worship songs with my lips and prayed my soul would follow. I engaged with other people and hoped joy would find me again. I felt nothing. I knew I should praise God in the good times and the bad. I don’t remember the date, but I do remember making a conscious decision to praise God with my broken, numb soul anyway. When you’re that low, you have two choices. You can keep looking down and see the same mess day after day and decide to stay there, or you can look up.
I remember choosing to look up.
My Jesus is a Rock (Psalm 18:2). I don’t share about my childhood and adolescence because even though it’s my story, a big chunk of it does not belong to me and I don’t currently feel like it is mine to share. It’s also confusing, as I am the product of both a divorce and a healthy marriage. I am the product of both excellent Christian schooling and a hurtful church history. When it felt like there was no one in my life to turn to, I knew I could turn to Jesus. When it felt like people had failed me, Jesus was the Rock that was steady, strong, and reliable. He is the only person who has never failed me.
My Jesus is a Faithful Provider (Matthew 6:31-33). I can look back over the bumps and hiccups of my life and see that God provided in every situation. He has provided financially on many, many occasions. He has given me peace. He has protected me countless times in the car from other drivers (and my own driving in the early years) and He has protected me from my own stupid decisions. I’ve seen him heal physical and emotional wounds in my life and in my family. I’ve seen Him provide trivial joys because He knows me by my name and by the things that brighten my day. You ever get up to the register to pay for something and it’s unexpectedly on clearance? That’s a silly example, but God knows that sometimes what would minister best to our spirits is something pleasantly unexpected.
My Jesus is a Patient Teacher (Psalm 103:8). Oh, the patience He has for me and my stubbornness. Oh how He knows me and what speaks to my soul, what grabs my attention. This past summer I entered my detached garage to get into my car and there was a swarm of flies in my garage. It was disgusting and eerie. I propped the door open when I left hoping they’d fly away, but no, they were there when I came back. It was unsettling. It reminded me of the plagues of Egypt and how Pharaoh’s heart was hardened against God and the Israelites and I knew – I knew without a doubt – God was telling me that my heart had been hardened as well. The flies were gone the next day. Is it likely that something spilled out of the trashcan or that a mouse or something died and caught the attention of some nasty bugs? Definitely. Is it equally likely that God used a circumstance that was already there to speak to me? I think so. I believe that the same God who sent plagues to Egypt could have sent flies into my garage if He wanted to, but it’s not important how they got there. The point is that it got my attention. Message received, lesson learned.
So surprise, I live in the same world as you do. I see the same suffering and injustice and I too ask, God, when will this be made right? If the number one question people ask of Christians is how can God be a good God and still allow the mess of the world, I can only give you this as an answer: I know He is a good God because of the good He’s done in my life. I know He is a good God because of the testimony of other believers. Read the Bible. Start in Genesis. The world wasn’t meant to look like this. It wasn’t meant to be a mess. It is though, and the only way that God could offer redemption to the mess was to send his Son as a sacrifice for the mess.
My Jesus is the Savior of the world (John 3:16), but also of me. I don’t have a dramatic coming-to-Jesus story. I was raised in a Christian home and attended Christian schools. I don’t have a miraculous physically healing in my past. I don’t have a traumatic history or much of a wild side. But what I have is a mental healing from anxiety. I have relational healing with my family. I have deliverance from depression and the terrible thoughts that go with it. My story is not outwardly visible so it might appear that I don’t have one. But I do. My God has saved me, delivered me, protected me, and walked with me. My God has pulled me out of darkness. My God has given me peace time and time again. My God gives me strength to overcome anxiety and depression. My God shows me that He’s here among His people and that He loves us.
Call me, text me, message me – let me tell you about my Jesus.