I had the opportunity to sit and talk with a young woman this week who called and asked if I had time to talk with her. When I walked in to where we were meeting, the first words out of her mouth was to confess a weakness or problem in her life. OK... she told me the problem as she perceived it, but in reality she was telling me about a symptom that was exhibiting itself in her life stemming from a much deeper situation or issue in her life. I thought it was quite amazing that this young woman, who I really do not know all that well could be so open with me. Then again, maybe not, because as I so often tell my church, if you will only listen to this younger generation, they will tell you anything and everything. I was impressed that she was wiling to blurt this out to me. It says to me that she is ready to deal with some "stuff" in her life.
Well, that accident took place 17 years ago tomorrow, and their words bring loud and clear in my ears. I don't like to admit it, and I try hard to hide the complications, but the fact is I am losing the strength and my grip in my right hand. I struggle greatly to open a jar and sometimes cannot even get the cap off of a soda bottle without quite a struggle. My handshake is not as firm as it used to be, which is a sign of weakness or lack of concern to many people, so I am often even hesitant to shake hands. I have a hard time admitting it, but I am weak in that hand.
While I struggle with telling people this, I also am beginning to find it liberating to admit it, because hopefully I will not have to try so hard to compensate for this weakness in order to hide it.
Does anyone see a spiritual parallel?
I woke up at 4:05 this morning with my hand and back hurting so bad that I could not sleep. I got up for about an hour and finally lay back down. As I lay there, I kept thinking about how this accident has affected my life... and kind of had a pity party for a bit.
But then the thought hit me how there are so many people struggling with life because they cannot admit their weaknesses and/or short-comings.
They work long hours; put themselves deeper and deeper into debt trying to find that elusive "thing" that will bring fulfillment to their lives. But it somehow just never comes.
What they don't realize is that what is missing is Jesus. They refuse to admit that, because they perceive that need for Jesus to be a weakness, and they will never admit their weakness.
There are people I have met who arrogantly spout off that they don't need the crutch of religion. Yet their lives grow more and more miserable with every car, boat or home they buy. Many of these people scream out at the Christians as being intolerant and they want our "religion" banned. I believe that the real problem is that they resent that we can find happiness, contentment and joy in our lives without all the trappings they have, yet they remain miserable. They simply refuse to admit that they have a weakness.
But we all have the same weakness... and it is called sin. The Bible tells us that "all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." It also tells us that we were created to have fellowship with God. Therein lays the problem with so many. They are miserable because they are failing in their created purpose. What is missing is not another new toy or more stuff; but a relationship with the God of creation through his son, Jesus.
Weakness? We all are born with the same weakness, regardless of the color of our skin, the country we are born in or our economic status. It is called sin, which separates us from God.
Trying to build your life without God is the real weakness. It is like trying to erect a building without first laying the cornerstone. You may erect a great looking building, and may look marvelous, but it is weak, and will never be right until that stone is put in its place.
The Bible tells us that Jesus is that cornerstone.
Your life without Jesus is just incomplete.