There comes a moment in everyone’s life where they feel like they can’t do it. It doesn’t matter what “it” is...it’s just too hard; too big. That’s not in our comfort zone. That’s not in our wheelhouse. Most of the time, following Jesus is the “it.” He’s constantly calling us to step out of the shadows and into something bigger than we think we’re capable of. But the good news, is that while you don’t feel capable, he is able.
What happened to us? We used to be full of vitality; full of energy. But then life happened. Life broke us; it warped us and changed us. That’s been the story from the beginning, really. Everything started good for humanity, but a cancer of sorts, robbed us of joy and peace. Reality is, humanity is sick and somehow we’ve accepted that as normal. But it’s not, it’s not normal. And Jesus came to restore it all. He came to heal us and make us whole again; taking us back...to normal.
You feel the weight. You feel it holding you back. That weight might be family history, emotional scarring, insecurity, secrets, anger, bitterness, or an endless number of other things. What’s certain though, is that you aren’t living up to your fullest potential because of the demons in your story. You exhaustedly make your way through life, carrying all of that baggage with you. But Jesus wants you to know you don’t have to; he’ll carry it for you. And, he’ll carry you too. He’ll carry it all, so you can be free.
We’ve all been there. We’ve been in the pit of despair; hurting, hopeless, and alone. Wouldn’t it be nice to know that someone’s heart breaks for you? Wouldn’t it be nice if your pain moved someone else, and that that someone could actually help you? Perhaps one of the most incredible things about Jesus, was how his heart broke for real people in the throws of real life. What’s most incredible though, is that he could and actually did something about it.
Jesus is one of the most talked about people ever. Debates rage about the things he said and did; have you ever wondered why? What’s so amazing about him that century after century he remains in the headlines? Some say it’s because he’s controversial. Could it be though, that he’s just that awe inspiring? Because wherever he went, he changed things. The scene was never the same when Jesus entered it. Somehow he always made the mundane, majestic. And he still does today.
So much of religion and spirituality seems to be about rules; nothing more than a long list of dos and don’ts that–quite frankly–make it all feel like mere behavior modification. Does God really care about the stuff I do? Aren’t there bigger things for him to worry about than the decisions I make? Isn’t it all grace and mercy? Yes, it is but there’s a bigger story behind the rules. There’s a deeper reason God cares about what we do. And it’s not so much about what he wants from us as it is what he wants for us.
Many people (maybe even you) see God as a cosmic machine builder. He put this whole universe together, wound it up and let it fly. And now that it’s doing its thing, He sits back rather uninterested and uninvolved. Why would he care? Especially about me? With all the stars and planets and problems on Earth, why would God waste his time worrying about little ol’ me? Certainly we’re just blips on his cosmic radar...right? Wrong.
When life doesn’t go according to plan, and we’re able to fight off cynicism and practice gratitude in the middle of strife, we can have hope for tomorrow. We don’t need to be afraid of what’s around the corner. We can trust that God is at work and dream for tomorrow beyond whatever reality we’re in today. The plan may have gone out the window, but tomorrow might have an even better one. Just wait.
When life doesn’t go according to plan, we may not think so, but we have a choice to make. And that choice is less about what we’re going to do as it is about how we’re going to do it. We will be tempted to think God isn’t active in our lives, or possibly that God has it out for us. In so doing we become a victim that feels powerless, but ultimately that’s a place we decide to be. In even the moments that aren’t full of sunshine and rainbows, we can decide to hold on to gratitude instead.