Monday, November 3, 2008

How do you explain Jesus?

. Some people recognise that they’re hungry for love. They’ve never seen it, never known it - Being used and abused is all they’ve experienced. Yet going to Jesus for love never occurs to them.

. Others can identify that they’re longing for security. But seeing Jesus as a protector is not even on the list.

. Others understand that significance and belonging are the things that are most absent in their lives. Yet the “world” has no shortage of promises to fulfil those dreams.

. And while many struggle with depression, disillusionment and despair, they don’t know any way out of that mess. They search and search and search but they never look to Jesus as a possible solution.

It’s one thing to know Jesus. It’s one thing be in a relationship with Jesus and to bask in the warmth of His love and mercy and forgiveness. But how do you describe or relay the nuances of that relationship to others who have yet to know Him? I mean, we’re all looking for Him. It’s just that some don’t know He’s what they’re after. So how can that be communicated to them?

Jesus says to all of us, “If you’re struggling with life, if you’re weighted down by worries and feelings of no worth and loneliness, and guilt, come to Me and I will give you rest for your weary souls.”

Could that be true?

I remember sitting at a party one night. There was lots of noise and laughter and music. Of course all of this “love” was fuelled by ecstasy and alcohol and a tonne of other drugs. At that time in my life I actually thought that we were having fun. And then the woman sitting next to me said, “Is life ever a bag of shit.” And I looked at her kind of like, What are you talking about? We’re having a good time here.

What a comment! At the time I thought she was nuts, but from then on I could never look at my friends or myself in the same light. I saw that we were some of the most pathetic people on the planet. Sure, we had all the drugs and sex and money that any hedonistic person could ask for. But we were lost. Worse, some of us were in fact experiencing an inkling of being lost. We were aware of a fear that something was terribly wrong in our world, but we were afraid to admit to such a “weakness.” Thankfully that woman voiced what I had yet to admit. We were starving for real life, yet we were “acting” like we had it all. It was still about five years after that night that I became a Christian but it was that night, with that comment when I began my journey to Jesus. For what it’s worth, that woman killed herself a couple years later.

All of us screw up from time to time. It’s a bit like we are stumbling around in a dark room and we’re bruising our shins and stubbing our toes on the furniture. None of us know where to find the switch, yet we’re too afraid to ask in case someone senses that we’re filled with doubt and fear.

Jesus sees our dilemma and says to us, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness again, but will have the light of life.”

In hindsight I can say, “Truer words were never spoken.” It’s as though Jesus flipped a switch and my life is no longer confusing. A wise person once said, “I believe in Jesus for the same reason I believe in the Sun - not because I can see the Sun but because of the Son, I can see everything else clearly.”

All I needed was to begin following His directions and the pattern of screwing up, that was so much a part of my life, is now itself shattered. In reality, there is no need to make major mistakes ever again. Only my negligence in following what Jesus wants holds me back from that. Still, Jesus has brought into my life peace, a deep abiding peace. I am no longer alone - ever. I know Truth and the freedom that brings into my life. My ubiquitous hunger and thirst for more is satiated. My, former disappointment with life, that required a constant infusion of stimulants, has turned to hope and a level of joy that I would have never dreamed possible.

How was that accomplished? Jesus, only Jesus. He’s waiting for you; patiently, lovingly waiting. And really, if your philosophy of life hasn’t proven itself by now, why give it even one more day. All you have to do is call out to Him and He’ll come and teach you, forgive your sins, free you from guilt and bring you safely home.