If you know me at all you know that I am a Christian. I am a believer in Jesus Christ and I try to live my life in a way that pleases Him. Every day I fall woefully short – I’m no saint, that’s for sure. I know what I’m not. I also know what I am.
It would be an understatement to say that life throws lots of crap at us. I’m 64 years old – I’ve been through my share – more than some, less than others. But crap nonetheless. I don’t need to tell you that there are plenty of walking wounded on this earth. News reports scream of accidents, failed marriages, financial disasters, drunk drivers and terrorist attacks. Poverty, chronic illness, depression, suicide rear their ugly heads with regularity. And so many people work so hard to maintain the perfect facade when underneath they’re a mess of misery. So many pretend to be happy and others are happy to pretend. Who can you trust? Is anyone safe or sane anymore? My dad used to often ask, “What’s the world coming to?”
Good question. What is the world coming to?
For me, the answer to that question is critical.
The only way I can deal with all the disorder and pain, confusion, anger and conflict in the world today – and it’s escalating as the Bible foretells – is to remember that this is not all there is. It’s not all there will be. When Jesus returns to establish His kingdom on earth (as it is in heaven) all things will be made new. There will be no more sorrow or crying or pain. These old things will pass away.
This gives me hope in the midst of the terrible trouble around the world today. It enables me to enjoy the glorious beauty of my garden flowers, to savor the anticipation of spending time with a friend, to persistently pray for healing and hope for my daughter-in-law and son-in-law, both of whom have had their daily life shaped by chronic illness.
I can have peace that defies understanding in the midst of present turmoil. I can release financial concerns to the One who provides for all my needs. I can trade my fear at night for faith that there is rest for me because I am loved by the King of the universe.
I have the assurance that I’m not alone … not now, not ever. Jesus promised, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age”. Jesus is a man of his word!
Being a Christian doesn’t necessarily mean that my life is any easier than the next person’s. It just means I have an effective way of navigating the crap that life throws my way. I have Someone who lights the path for me, who picks me up when I fall down, who forgives me when I screw up. I have the unshakable assurance that after every Good Friday there is a Resurrection Day.
See, I know without a doubt that the day I gave Jesus control of my life, I was changed. I found an acceptance and security and significance I’d never known before. I discovered who I really am (my identity) and I realized where I’m headed (my destiny).
Contrary to popular belief in our culture today, this life is ultimately not all about me or you. It’s about Him, and the place we do or don’t give Him in our life.
So what difference does it make, being a Christian?
Walking with God means that the best is always yet to come.
That makes all the difference in the world!