Lost in Translation!
Does hearing the name “Jesus” intimidate you? Does the very thought of thinking about him or mentioning his name make you uncomfortable? When something good happens in your life is he the last one you think of? Or when something horrible happens is he the first one you blame? I remember coming across radio stations playing Christian music and feeling the need to turn the channel quick. As if it was going to brainwash me and I was going to be converted quickly. Even hearing people (like me) rant about my love for Jesus Christ made me cringe & feel weird. It was a foreign concept in my mind!
If like the old me, you answered yes to most or all of these questions, guess what, you’re not alone. At points in my life, Jesus Christ was the farthest thing from my mind. He was a catholic “staple” during church, holidays & religious education; but that was it.
The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul; The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
Most grew up with some spiritual teaching. Regardless of denomination, we heard there is a God and he is important to know. Maybe you would go to a religious education class or Sunday school and whatever your week endured, you were required to give 1 hour, 1 day a week to God. But most just considered him as important as the Tooth Fairy or even Santa Clause. A childhood literal fantasy that at certain times throughout the year would show up in church or conversation. If we lost a tooth, we counted on the Tooth Fairy to fill our piggy banks. Of course Santa Clause speaks for himself as the rockstar of Christmas past.
I was raised to believe that Jesus Christ was to be honored at Christmas, Easter, weddings and funerals. And if you did “very well” in honoring him during those events, you were “good to go” for the next time. He was not an investment, he was a necessary character within your family and upbringing. Yet when life would throw me major curveballs, the Tooth Fairy or Santa became irrelevant! Their immortality became apparent. Even friends and family could take the edge off, but were small in comparison to being miracle workers. Yet the magic of the holy spirit, (the gift that Jesus left us) nudged me at times of deep despair and when I had nowhere else to to turn, he entered into my conscience and I would turn to God! Not fully, but with much curiosity and a childlike need for her Father. You gotta love God’s plan because he works in mysterious ways.
I simply found this fascinating that people lived this way. That their last ditch effort was to contact the one truth that is capable of magnificent possibilities within their lives. That their only way to sanctity and peace was to ask for prayers or start seeking God when the going got rough.
“The greatest faith is born in the hour of despair. When we can see no hope and no way out, then faith rises and brings the victory.” – Lee Robertson
Yet I was able to see past this at a time in my life that not only did I have nowhere else to turn, I had unanswered questions regarding my purpose in life and a curiosity as to why people would turn to faith & spirituality only when they felt at their lowest of lows. I thought this to be self-centered and I too was guilty. Doesn’t God deserve better than this? Or was there a bigger message I was missing? Possibly God was ok with this selfish need for him? I soon figured out he simply wanted a relationship with me and is a patient, patient God.
The ability to trust in God during the hard times and praising him through the good actually brings benefits, yes. But that seemed like a lot of work. Not that I’m lazy, I just didn’t feel capable or worthy. Society says to turn to God and scripture during pain, suffering, depression, anxiety or fear. You can even send a few prayer request through social media or family, or even surf the net for some hopeful inspiration. If you are miraculously healed, God will just wait around until the next crisis. After all, isn’t that what he is here for? Not exactly. When we are in periods of happy times we tend to get too busy to stop and say “thank you Lord”. We are wired for this but we are a selfish generation with so many entitlements that we believe we are entitled to blissful happy lives; pain-free existences. Not according to the bible. Some of the most influential people in biblical history lived the most challenging lives. Lives filled with heartache, despair, imprisonment, death, you name it. Yet, they did have one common denominator. Trust. Trust that through any difficult circumstance, God had their back. Pain was a secondary thought because their loyalty brought Gods loyalty with an added benefit; strength. And with that came wisdom and an inner peace. A peace that only God provides. They too held onto gratitude during that peace, praising God through their storms.
What’s the benefit of keeping God in your good graces when it’s all good in your life? Well, first of all, he keeps you humble. You tend to have more empathy towards people and situations. You might start considering people more and trusting more. You actually consider forgiveness as a way for you to heal, not something you bestow upon others. You become more intrigued with Jesus and Gods word and you start to want to express this through love and devotion. You find church to be a place to worship and seek fellowship, not a tasking event to check off your weekly “to do” list. And so on and so forth.
The best part of all, during ordinary days, hours and moments, you get this feeling of great pleasure and happiness. Do you want to know what that is? It’s JOY. I believe Joy is a feeling, a gift if you will, from God that only people who truly love Jesus can actually feel. I know first hand that I never felt joy until I found Christ. I thought I was living a pretty good life filled with some happiness and pleasure, yet it was empty without Jesus. That I know to be true.
I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
My goal for this blog is to simply enlighten. I don’t ever want to come off claiming I have all the answers and my life is now perfect since I became a believer! Oh sweet sisters and brothers, it’s far from that. I still deal with the same junk, sin and human emotions we were made to experience. The only difference is I give it up to God and he gives me that peace I yearn for. Peace he promises his children who trust in him and follow Jesus. For that I am forever grateful. And the good news is God wants to meet us where we are and totally understands why some of us take longer than others to see him more clearly. Sometimes we just get lost in translation.
Love and Grace.