Updated: Nov 25, 2019
Sometimes I just have to live life, rather than writing about it.
After having lived it, I can write about it.
In the last days, I have sat in tense hospital waiting rooms, desperate for good news-my own included. A wife - strong for her husband, strong for her 30ish son who sits beside her and two distant daughters, yet she's just a girl. She looked at me, 'you won't leave yet, will you?'
I have Face-Timed with a young person, desperate to make sense out of the pressures she feels as a college student trying to love others well-maybe well beyond her capacity to keep the pace. Her biggest pressure: giving to all those who are in need what she herself has inside-the peace of Jesus Christ. So amazing, so admirable ... and yet, she's just a girl.
I have received anxiety-ridden, fear-filled requests for prayer from those battling a damning diagnosis and others who are struggling under the relentless global economic pressure. Where's the remedy? I mean ... I'm just a girl too, but I'm a girl who has the answer.
And then I have looked into the faces of those who are locked in the prisons of their own making-the worst of which has got to be shaMe. They pray for the forgiveness of another, while seemingly helpless to forgive themselves. Where is the key to the prison lock?
What's your problem? I have the answer. His name is Jesus-no matter your problem, he is the Answer. Check it out:
->Weight of the world on you? You are not alone-
Joshua 1.9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go
->Shame? He will make you new.
2 Corinthians 5.17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
->Fear? He will give you peace.
John 14.27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. [Jesus' words to you]
->Anxiety? Oh, sure.
1 Peter 5.7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
->Not sure where to turn in your battle?
Exodus 14.14 The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still
Galatians 5.1 It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.
~>And please try Celebrate Recovery***
John, the apostle, was the feeler - a Two on the Enneagram.1 At the end of his life, he was writing to make sure that young followers of Jesus were not caught up in the errant teaching of the day - that what they did in their bodies did not matter (a byproduct of Gnosticism). Hear me: what you and I do in our bodies and with our bodies will always matter. In the second chapter of 1 John, he writes about choosing holiness, not making the choice to sin. And yet, in the realization that we are an imperfect lot, he says, "if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous."2
Paul said it so succinctly as already stated: It was for freedom that Christ came.3 Which is why John writes to tell those he loved to choose the way of Jesus - to follow the commands of Jesus; in doing so is freedom, l'chaim - life! In John's old age, I love how he addresses his reader, 'little children' ~ he is tender and wants the best for them, so similar to a daddy instructing his child, 'Go this way, Buddy - that way is too high for you, the path too uneven and rough. And if you go that way, you will encounter trouble.' And what's more, if you are under the weight of sin, you will not know the power of God in your life.
What's your problem? Fill in the blank.
My biggest problem right now is: ______________________________
Before you ask God to rescue you, clear your conscience - ask forgiveness of sin, if sin is dragging you down. "God, will you forgive me of my sin (name it, if he puts his finger on something) _______________________________
"God, I'm asking you to ... give me wisdom, or heal my husband!! Or set me free from the shame I am carrying, or __________________ , or step into my son's path, or __________________?
What's your problem? You see, you have a Father - a good Father - who says to come and ask him; he will answer. Do you need to refresh your memory with this? https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%207.7-12&version=NASB&interface=print
What's your problem? Jesus is the Answer.
***Celebrate Recovery - https://www.celebraterecovery.com
1 - One article on the enneagram: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/the-faqs-what-christians-should-know-about-the-enneagram/
2 - 1 John 2.1
3 - Galatians 5.1