For a long time, I wondered why Jesus loved me. It’s not that I didn’t believe that He did, I just could not figure out why. I mean, little insignificant, plain, ordinary, badly flawed me. Like many others, I bought into the lie I’m not good enough.
Thankfully, with the help and prayers of many, I’ve pretty much conquered the “Yes, Jesus loves me” part in spite of that lie. Even though I don’t always get it, I believe it.
But, an interesting comment spilled out the other day as I journaled my Examen prayer: I take comfort in Your love… but I’m struggling to find peace.
So why are feelings of calm and contentment so elusive? Why don’t I face each day knowing that in His love I can live in His strength and His peace?
Perhaps these are the nagging leftovers of why do You love me? with a slightly different flavor.
Perhaps. But I believe that the real reason I’m feeling so unsettled and restless is that I allow the unsettled condition of the world influence how I see my own life and the well-being and peace of those I love…
I see a country so entitled and puffed up about its supposed greatness that it considers those not inside its borders as outsiders, less-than, and disposable. People for whom we bear no responsibility and for whom we have compassion only from afar, if at all.
I see how we often find a kind of twisted delight in the stories of fallen leaders and heroes, just like those in the Coliseum who cheered while the lions devoured their prey.
I see how the price tags have gotten so mixed up that we regard the work and talent of an athlete or entertainer more valuable than a teacher, care-giver, nurse, or farmer. And not by a small margin.
And I see how money and position and greed provide a platform for acceptable bullying and despicable behavior. Behavior that is even revered, cheered, defended, and excused.
I see all of this and wonder if, this side of heaven, I’ll ever feel peaceful again.
Yes, I know Jesus loves me – and you and you. And somewhere in my swiss-cheese study and understanding of the Bible, I learned He holds the world, lovingly, in His hands. I know not one second or whisper slips by unnoticed. I know He is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient.
But the fear, doubt, and anxiety that creep into my mind and soul aren’t imaginary or fleeting. They are real, they are crippling, and they are unwelcome.
I have a strong sense I’m not alone. I’d bet long money that many of you are too familiar with this darkness.
So let’s pray for each other. Perhaps I didn’t mention the darkness that keeps you on edge – but that’s only because it hasn’t crept into my world. Not yet anyway.
So let’s pray peace over each other. We don’t have to reveal our deepest fears. We don’t have to bare our souls to receive a blessing. We can pray for each other’s pain, even if kept in secret.
I’m not a prayer warrior. I don’t have a battalion of verses at the ready. I can’t sustain a prayerful spirit for hours like many heroes of the faith.
But I can ask Jesus to watch over you. I can ask Him to hear your prayers and speak words of hope into your soul. I can ask Him to bathe you in peace. And you can do the same for me.
You can leave a comment here and we’ll all pray for you. Or you can contact me personally and I’ll pray for you in private. Or you can use these words to open up conversations with those in your own circles.
But we gotta do it. We’ve just got to. Trying to fight back fear or doubt alone just leads to more fear and doubt. Let’s fight back together.