Tell me about yourself, she asks.
I belong to Jesus Christ. That’s the most important thing there is to know.
Some people seem instinctively to know how to make their way through the world. That’s never been the case with me. I stumble. Yet through it all my longing has always been to understand why we’re here, how things got this way, and how to live wisely in light of that knowledge.
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. (2 Corinthians 4:7)
I learned about loss and sadness earlier than most. By the time I was 13 I had given up finding real answers in the religion of my birth. Three years later my quest led me halfway around the world to New Zealand. While there a “born again” friend patiently explained how the world’s suffering and death stemmed from the curse of original sin. God in his mercy and love did not abandon human beings in their pain, but made a way for permanent reconciliation. Jesus Christ did the work. He made the atonement. Our role is to accept it by faith.
In my heart and soul I knew it was all true. I believed then and still do today.
My fear of my family’s reaction was such that after returning to the States I hid my faith from them for the next few years. When they discovered my belief, I was excluded from gatherings and forbidden to have contact with my siblings. Though passions cooled in time and a kind of peace restored, no other members of my birth family ever professed Christian faith.
One day God will give his children new bodies. Until then, we wait patiently and endure the crosses each of us must bear. What we cannot bear, we give to our gracious Lord. We do the best we can to find joy amidst the burdens and consequences which come from living in this groaning world.
I have struggled with mood and anxiety issues throughout my life. At times my sinful choices and actions have made an inborn weakness worse. Those who grapple with such reminders of the fall know there is no magic pill, pat explanation or miracle cure for these things.
To be a real Christian
Being a true Christian does not mean your problems disappear. It means God forgives you, promises to love you and will be with you no matter what you experience.
Being a real Christian means you decide to believe all things are working for good. Even anxiety and emotional pain.
Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.
Being a true Christian means we accept God’s forgiveness for the harm we’ve caused.
The best we can do is to choose to love one another, have mercy, and share the Word of God with others as freely as possible.
For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. 1 Corinthians 1:21
Our God reigns.