My house was plagued last Friday by the infamous tummy bug. It seems to be spreading like wild-fire across the nation, unfortunately it made it's way through my house painfully. I spent 2 days completely uncomfortable and BLAH, no thank you to whoever let that ugly bug into our house. I happily sent it on it's way. Being sick is awful, but being sick at the same time as your husband- unbearable (that's a whole other blog that leads to repentance for the not nice thoughts I have). Anyways, I hate being uncomfortable. I was just laying in my bed, which is supposed to be comfy and snuggly, writhing and moaning in pain. My stomach hurts just thinking about it. So imagine my surprise today sitting in my COMFY pew, in my cute little COMFY church, with all my COMFY friendly faces when I found myself complete, UNCOMFORTABLE. Now before you start thinking I had another bought of the you know what's and had to RUN out of the sanctuary, let's not get ahead of ourselves. You see we had a substitute preacher, which in Baptist world is a SCARY thing. We are COMFORTABLE with our Pastor thank you, no desire for a stand in. We are used to the rhythm and methodology of Pastor Michael, no need to throw something new at us thanks! As luck would have it Pastor was out of town so stand in Pastor was at the pulpit this lovely May morning. He covered a verse I was COMFORTABLE with. John 3:16. Yep, all us Christians we are already reciting that in our heads aren't we.
For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
We know it by heart don't we. If you've been in church as much as I have you know that verse like you know your own name. So you are wondering how could that ever make you uncomfortable. Well, here's how. I basically had a Jesus panic attack all over my COMFORTABLE Christian life. If this verse is true, if what Pastor Alan said is true, then I've got some work to do. And that my friends is the TRUTH. Pastor Alan said God Loved the whole world, Pastor Alan said he gave it ALL, Pastor Alan said that if someone doesn't believe in him they have a fiery eternity ahead of them. WAIT what??? I held my breath and my tears and Pastor Alan recounted 2 dark days in our history where the fire was so bad in a building people where jumping (yes jumping willingly) to their deaths to escape it. There's fire that bad, that hot that you would rather knowingly jump to your death??? Scary. I'm not into fire and brimstone, but I am into truth. The truth is, I'm not doing my job. I'm in my COMFY pew, in my COMFY church, with all my COMFY faces around me I am not doing my job. Jesus told me to GO, he told me to STEP OUT, to outreach not in reach, to spread the good news to EVERYONE. Guess what, He meant you, to tell you that He loves you. To tell you that He meets you where you are, like He did for me. That He doesn't intend for you to live like this, to feel like this, to cry like that, to hurt like you are hurting. He means for you to be free from these chains in his LOVE (Love from Greek translation meaning agapē ‘selfless love.) The kind of LOVE that sends it's one and only son to be a blameless sacrifice for you, to wash you as white as snow and invite you into the gates of Heaven to be with God for eternity. It's real ya'll and I'm not even drinking kool-aid over here. I have anxiety for you, a can't breathe kind of panic at the thought of not spending eternity with you and so I will boldly go there with you. We need Jesus. You need Jesus. You can not explain this away, you cannot do it yourself. And if you are a COMFY Christian, get UNCOMFY because we have some rollin' up your sleeves, getting serious kind of work to do around here. We must be BRAVE and share the gospel, because we are dying and if we don't die first Jesus is coming. I cannot stay COMFY any longer, I don't want you to miss out on Heaven just because I wanted to sit back and be COMFORTABLE.
Friends, Jesus loves you. He died for YOU. You need only choose to follow his ways instead of your ways. It's better to be UNCOMFORTABLE battling through this life TOGETHER with the FINISH LINE being the pearly gates with ALL of my family and friends there to welcome me home. I Pray this moment that you'll be there with me and I won't stop praying and talking about it to you and hopefully all those who I get to come into contact with everyday.
We are FEARFULLY and WONDERFULLY and BEAUTIFULLY MADE in HIS IMAGE and he loves (agape) us an amazing amount.
Ps- please let me know if you have any questions or if you need prayer, I would love to pray for you.