Jesus lives! We can still see signs all around us, if we look closely that show us that Jesus still lives today in the hearts of those who seek him. But we still struggle.
So I’m inclined to ask … If following Jesus does not exempt us from struggles and brokenness… Then why should we follow him? Why pray or go to church? What’s in it for us? The struggles we each face can be challenging and scary. And Following Jesus gives us a pathway to peace. He shows us the way to find Gods loving embrace. He takes away our fears and replaces it with determination and renewed strength. Our problems don’t go away when we follow Jesus, but the way we tackle them changes. Our attitude towards our problems change when we know we are not fighting them alone.
On this life journey, it’s the proclaiming our faith and the expressing our doubts, the questioning and the searching for answers, the falling and the getting up, the yanking and the pushing… it’s life pulling us in all directions, it’s the chasing and the crying and the celebrating that we do together, that leads us to discover the spirit of God in each of us. By following Jesus it fills our spirit with the love of God and brings us comfort knowing we are never alone. God is always with us.
Some of you endure the pain of life on a daily basis.
A lost marriage.
A broken home.
Death and separation
Sickness and pain.
Children facing difficulties and challenges.
No strong person I know got that way from walking away from their doubts and fears. It’s by tackling problems, by questioning, by searching for answers that we become stronger and more resilient.
Psalm 34: 18-19 says .. If your heart is broken, you’ll find God right there; if you’re kicked in the gut, he’ll help you catch your breath. Disciples so often get into trouble; still, God is there every time.
Brokenness connects us to God. Think of the word BROKEN! When we’re financially strapped, we say we’re broke, when we lose someone or something we love we’re brokenhearted. When we were dating someone and they make us mad we break up with them. When we get together for meals we say we are “breaking bread together”, when we’re an emotional mess we have a break down. But it’s the broken ground that we plant seeds in to produce life,its broken clouds that bring rain, rain that yields flowers and food.
You know, it’s striking at how much the weather is a metaphor for our lives. This year especially we have realized that our never ending winter has finally moved into spring. We knew it would. That rain brings fruits and trees and rainbows. That storms destroy things that can be rebuilt even better and more resilient than before. Our lives are spent being broken and being renewed. Being cast aside and being lifted up. Being rained on and feeling lousy about it and then blossoming into a beautiful flower. We face storms, we struggle, we deal with the loss of loved ones. But it’s the harsh winters make spring much more appreciated. It’s in dealing with death, as we all do at times, that makes us appreciate life even more. Without storms we wouldn’t appreciate calm. Without death we wouldn’t appreciate life. God has a purpose for us ~ to live our life, to face challenges knowing that spring is coming and that whatever is broken or knocked down by the gusts of wind can be rebuilt and renewed – Are you hungry for God’s love? Are you passionate about learning more and removing those fears and doubts? Are you ready to discover the confidence that comes from tackling your problems with Jesus by your side?
We all have doubts and fears. You may be shattered by the loss of a loved one, dealing with health issues, facing a financial crisis, seeking spiritual fulfillment, needful of an emotional pick me up or just feeling sad. Yet, as followers of Jesus – together we can lift each other up. You don’t have to do it alone. We can be “Broken Together” and that’s okay – because we know that God uses broken things. God can put our broken pieces back together in a different way so that they will have a new meaning and make us feel loved and complete.
2 Corinthians 5:7
Everyone is unique. Each one of us is an individual with special talents and skills each one different. Some people perform better than others. Some people make more money. Some people make more friends. Some people are shy, while others are outgoing. Some people are more spiritual, some are more material. Some people can see, hear and feel God moving in their lives, others walk in faith. It doesn’t make one right and one wrong. It just makes us unique.
You are who you are … and I am who I am !
Not everything is black and white. Walking by sight and believing only what you can see robs you of spiritual peace. Only by walking in faith, by believing in yourself and your god given talents do you become spiritually awake. Only by walking in faith and believing in the world within you, the world where God resides, will you find joy. Money does not define you. The stuff you have or don’t have does not make you better or worse than someone else. Your individuality is what makes you special, relish it!
When you stop trying to please everyone, when you stop trying to keep up with everyone, when you stop believing that you deserve to have the same things that someone else has, stress and anger disappears. Many times money and “stuff” comes with a price. Stop comparing yourself to others.
Live your life by looking on the inside, not at what is on the outside. Be accepting and loving of yourself. Take care of yourself and take the time to be “me minded”. Enjoy today and rejoice in the good things that are happening in your life right now. Take time to try and reach out and discover the spiritual side of life and become your own best friend.
Life is also about reaching out to others, treating them with love and respect. Praise people with your actions and words. Celebrate their successes along with them, instead of being upset that it wasn’t you. Console your family and friends when things go wrong, offer words of encouragement and lend a helping hand. Have faith that God has a plan for you and that everything that happens to you, weather good or bad, is leading and guiding you in the direction of your destiny. Enjoy the journey and —
Walk by faith, not by sight.