Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Jesus is wrecking my life...

I was reminded recently about how offensive Jesus actually was in his interactions with many people in the Bible. I like to conveniently forget this "ugly side" of Jesus most days and picture him, instead, as a soft - kindhearted - loving - gentle man. But I'm drawn back to the reality that Jesus had a way of uprooting people's lives, bringing sin to light in loving but blunt confrontation, bucking the social norms, disappointing people's hopes for a mighty rescuer (through overpowering the govt.), challenging relationships, and asking more questions and giving more parables than he gave answers at times.

He didn't walk around hugging people and telling them how nice they looked that day or passing out candy so people would like him and follow him. He was concerned about the truth, about eternity, and it didn't seem to bother him that the truth offended people. Now I am no expert on Jesus' life, quite the opposite, and there are many dangerous applications a person can draw if they are not careful in studying context and his life in the bigger picture. We also have to realize that not all of his life was recorded and there were a lot of things about his life that we will never know. But to be honest, what we do know is shockingly different than what i pictured from all of those years of carefully watching the flannel graph boards in Sunday School.

And so now, I again, come back to the realization that Jesus continues to "wreck my life." Because I know and love (what I know of) him...and I believe what he has said...there are some strong realities that I need to face.

I say he wrecked/is wrecking my life because:

I at times I start to feel the gravity of hell. The truth that many people I know and so many people that I don't know will go to hell unless something changes before they die. Do I live like I truly believe this? No.

I am constantly called to be looking out for the welfare of other people, to be making sacrifices, to love people who I would otherwise (I'm sorry, but it's honest) find 'unlovable'.

I am called to a life that is not guaranteed to be safe, stable, or free from pain.

Some things that I want and desire (again with the honesty) are off limits - they are sin and they are wrong.

Sometimes truth hurts, and that is what we are asked to give to ourselves and others...and it hurts.


These thoughts recently settled my heart into a calm, puzzled moment. I thought at one time in my life that being a Christian was supposed to make life better. That your problems would find resolution, that God would clearly guide every step and decision, that pain would not enter your life and if it did it was only to be there for a short season. And then I began to think through these expectations I had of God and compare them to the lives of the disciples and those around Jesus in the Bible.

Things weren't matching up.

But then a small beam of light broke through and a smile spread across my face - just because I don't always understand Jesus and because my recollection of him may not be completely accurate, he is still the same Jesus who expresses amazing love for me - who I am in love with. And those expectations of him are not always Biblical, they are what I put on him. He offers me abundant life, eternal life with him and really what more could I ask for.

Life will be over in an instant. We will stand before God before you know it.

I wish my life reflected those statements...

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