Good morning Black Friday Cyber Monday shoppers, Tuesday Givers, and all the other people with their heads in the sand that Christmas is around the corner. Whoever you are, you’ll like the December blog posts because I’ve written them with you in mind. Since December is dedicated to the celebration of God’s Gift to the world, we will take a practical look at how that Gift makes a difference in your everyday healthy, happy relationships.
Sally Lloyd-Jones wrote the book, “The Jesus StoryBook Bible,” and changed the Jesus-paradigm of a generation. I bought it for my kids at first, but the more I read it to them, the more Jesus’ story drew me closer to Him as the Friend, the Christ, the Savior. I’ve bought and given away this book a hundred times because each decorative page tells the story of Jesus in a way that, well, makes sense. Each story weaves a thread that connects all the stories of the book- and that thread is The Rescuer.
The world, since the beginning of time had been waiting for rescue- rescue from themselves, rescue from each other, rescue from sin, and sinning on themselves and on each other. You know, the stuff we humans do every day.
Seriously, if you need a Christmas gift for a kid (or adult!) this is it. http://www.amazon.com/Jesus-Storybook-Bible-Every-Whispers/dp/0310708257/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1449075781&sr=8-1&keywords=jesus+storybook+bible
So when God’s Gift came into the world, by way of a teenager in an animal shelter, the people were expecting Rescue- rescue from tyranny, violence, oppression, abuse, poverty. They wanted a Messianic Savior to rule and reign as an earthly king and make all the things that were wrong with the world, right again.
We want rescue too, right? Sometimes we pray for a miracle. We pray for a raise. We pray for a better job. We pray that God will intervene. We ask Him to SHOW UP and save us from our illness, our predicament, our debt, our broken marriage, our addiction, ourselves. We buy lottery tickets in hope that a monetary rescue will solve our problems.
What I know…
After working with hundreds of people for over 15 years, there’s one thing I know for sure. God never plucks us out of our predicament without making us a partner in the rescue mission. He never swoops in like the fairy god mother to grant all our wishes. He’s not Super Man and we’re not Lois Lane. I suppose He could be the Hero that rescues all the Damsels in Distress, but that would just keep us in a perpetual state of Distressed-Damselism. No thank you.
Instead, He lowers Himself into the pit we find ourselves in and patiently directs us step by step as we climb out. With each scary step, and each tentative grasping toward the light, we are strengthened. We can not see the next step, but He can, and as we listen and obey His patient direction, our faith muscles are strengthened. Our relationship skills are honed. Our broken heart is mended. And our confidence is returned to us so we can help the next poor sucker who falls into that pit.
The good stuff in life is not having it all together, or never needing rescue, or even staying out of the pit. The good stuff in life is hearing The Rescuer’s voice in the darkness, smiling because you know you’re in good hands, and feeling those heart muscles ache because you’re finally using them in the right way. The good stuff is accepting your location in the Pit as just HUMAN, and NECESSARY and FERTILIZER for something really GROWY in your future.
When God sends His Gift to rescue you, you always end up feeling stronger, lighter, freer and loved. You may start out feeling desperate and hopeless, but after His Rescue, you end up feeling full of power and opportunity. Look for ways that the Rescuer is making you apart of your own rescue mission. I’d love to hear your story.