Monday, September 27, 2010

Give Me Jesus

I wish I could give Jesus in pill-form to all my friends with troubles.  Bad day?  Take this pill and you'll gain perspective.  Friends betray you?  Swallow this and you'll have a best friend like no other.  Marriage crumbling?  Here take this pill.  He's the answer.

It sometimes seems trite to look into the eyes of friends who feel devastated and say, "Jesus will make it all better."  But the truth is Jesus will make it all better.  I'm speaking from experience here. 

I've always been a good student.  I graduated 2nd in my highschool class.  I don't say that to brag, it's important to the story.  My parents wanted me to go to the local community college and live at home.  I wanted to go away to school.  Not far away, but far enough to gain my independance.  You couldn't tell me anything.  I was smart...I was 18...I knew it all.  So, my senior year of highschool I applied for every scholarship for which I was qualified and I got a lot of them.  I got accepted to a school less than an hour away and my dad only had to pay a few hundred dollars for my first year of school.  Scholarships paid for over 75% of my tuition and room and board.

Once on my own, however, I made poor choices.  I chose to "fit in" rather than be a good student.  For me that meant sitting up all night and talking to a friend instead of studying for a test or doing my homework.  It also meant drinking alcohol in excess because others around me were doing that, even on school nights.  By my 5th semester I was on academic probation.  At the end of my 5th semester I had failed out of college.

Yep, in 2 1/2 years I went from 2nd in my class to failing out.  As I was packing up my dorm room, I called my Mom, crying.  I said, "I didn't do it Mom.  I failed out."  And this is where my mother get's the most-amazing-mother-in-the-world award.  She said, "Well, God has a plan."

And, I know you'll find it hard to believe (haha), but God DID have a plan.  I was completely devastated.  What kind of future did I have without a college degree?  I just didn't see how anything good could come from this disaster.  I took a job in retail which quickly turned into a career in the corporate world of retail.  While in that corporate position, one of my friends came to me one day and said, "I've met the guy for you."  To make a long story short.  I married that guy 8 months after meeting him.  Our 18th anniversary is next month.  I don't know how God would have gotten me to the Big Dog had I gotten my teaching degree.  I'm sure He would have figured it out.  But I could see God's hand in my life after failing college.  He brought me right where I needed to be to meet the man He had made for me.

To that crying 20-year-old in her dorm room I would say, "Here, honey, take this pill.  Just follow Him.  He'll fix it."

Last Summer I wrote to you about my husband tearing his achilles tendon.  When I left my giant hulk of a husband connected to tubes and monitors in medical intensive care because of two blood clots that passed THROUGH his heart, I cried like I've never cried before.  But this time I didn't need a Jesus-pill.  I cried out to my Comforter like I never had before.  I felt His closeness to me.  We SAW His plan for our lives as the days played out over the few months of Big Dog's illness.  He was an ever-present help in times of trouble (ps 46:1) for us.  And as we look back we can totally see God in everything that happened.

But you say, "You don't know what I've done Lori Lynn.   There isn't a pill big enough."  Jesus is big enough!  He is!  Oh, find Him in your troubles.  And then keep Him for your calm times.  He's good for all the times.

So, how do you find Him?  How do you get Him to fix your problems?  Well, you start with prayer.  It doesn't have to be on your knees.  You don't even have to close your eyes.  Just get somewhere where you won't be destracted and tell Him what you've done.  Don't hold back.  He can take it.  Lay it all out before Him.  Seek His forgiveness.  Then ask Him what to do next.  Wait.  He'll answer you.  Be quiet before Him after you've poured it all out.  Just wait.  But then, and here's the big part...you have to keep the conversation going.  You keep talking to Him, all the time about everything.  That's what He wants.  He wants to be your best friend and your closest confidant.  He wants to be on your mind and in your heart all the time.  Just that constant contact with Him will bring you peace like you haven't known in a long time.

Just like an asprin finds the pain and relieves it, Jesus will find your pain.  Take Him.  Take all of Him.  He's the only true relief.

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