I have a friend who is going through health and anxiety issues right now. It’s an ugly loop where the physical issues flare up and feed the anxiety, which makes the body tense and creates more physical issues, which causes more anxiety….
anyway, you get the idea.
I’ve spent a fair amount of time recently reminding her that she needs to put herself in God’s hands. This is as difficult for her as it is for me. I CONSTANTLY take stuff back from God and try to fix it. Or at least worry at it. I call it prayer, but really it’s just me stating over and over again what I want God to Do. I sort of give God a “Honey-Do” list of what He needs to do to make my life work out the way I want it to.
how silly is that?
Human beings were created to live in communion with God. But ever since the fall/original sin we have been unable to achieve communion with the perfect Creator God. Because of our imperfection, God can not come into contact with us, with our sin. and let’s face it, we are covered in sin.
No effort of ours can ever wash it off.
No effort of mine can ever bring me even one millimeter closer to God.
now wait, and think about that.
I can go to endless Bible studies. I can memorize the entire Bible. I can spend 40 days in the wilderness begging God to be close to me. I can physically and in my heart keep all the law. I can, through my own efforts do good deeds.
None. Of. That. Matters. At. All.
The ONLY thing that brings me into a relationship with God my creator is the indescribable gift of the blood of Christ.
so this friend of mine is struggling. She feels anxious and unworthy to be loved by God. To which I would submit the following:
Let us approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
and for anyone who thinks that God can’t possibly know or understand their particular problem or situation, there is this delightful passage just before it:
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet was without sin.”
Now sit back and really think about this one. Did you ever have a temptation or problem and found yourself thinking “God really doesn’t know how hard this is for me!”
Jesus walked this earth for the express purpose of being a full human being. Fully God, yes…but also FULLY MAN. Jesus could have come to this earth as a fully adult perfect human man and gone straight to the cross. Instead he chose to fully experience human life. As a child, a teenager, a young adult, and a man with a mission.
I believe that this means that he did experience real temptations. real anxieties, real worries and stresses. Jesus’ palms sweat just like yours and mine. the Perfect Lamb of God was not just serenely drifting through his ministry here on earth. God SAYS that Jesus was “tempted in EVERY WAY, Just as we are”
His perfection was that he placed himself utterly in the hands the of the Father God and was thus able to not fall for any of the temptations. but I believe he FELT FULLY TEMPTED. Tempted to worry, tempted to fret, tempted to cheat, tempted to indulge in excesses, tempted to give up and walk away from his ministry. Those tears in Gethsemane (Matthew 26 and Luke 22) were not just the work of the moment. Christ was in AGONY over the sacrifice he was about to make. Agony is not serene. Agony is not detached. He was in such emotional turmoil that he ooozed blood from his pores. That is not a picture of a detached savant that drifts serenely through his ministry.
Everything we go through, Jesus experienced.
Dwell on that today.