I’ve just had one of those moments.
Christmas. Emmanuel. God with us.
God with us.
That means something.
This is not all there is. (Thank God.)
This year has been the toughest I’ve ever known personally.
It has been twelve months of struggling with mental health issues, significant loss and deep grief.
Brexit, Trump, politics, the world generally going bonkers and no way to get off.
It feels so overwhelming as to render me completely numb.
I’m so fragmented nothing feels real. Not always even sure on the surface that God is there, but occasionally catch glimpses of His handiwork and know that He must be here…. somewhere.
Let this truth sink in: God with us. Jesus chose to come to this crazy, sick, evil, twisted, despairing world. God with us. He came to bring peace. His peace reigning in our hearts regardless of what is going on around or within us. Peace with God.
Because He came that first Christmas, I have a Safe Place to run to and hide. Jesus is my Strong Tower where I and every part of me is safe and loved and known and wanted and comforted.
The word prompt for day four of blogging through Lent is INJUSTICE.
It’s not fair!
My life was a mess. I had a tough childhood, things were done to me, and as I got older, I reacted. I got into stuff I shouldn’t have. Nice people didn’t want anything to do with me. I couldn’t blame them. The presence of evil clung to me wherever I went. I hated being alone, my thoughts would race round in circles until I thought I was going mad. The nights were the worst. Dark presences in the bedroom that made me cower on my bed and wish I was dead. Nightmares that were frighteningly real whenever I did get to sleep. I hated my life.
And then He came.
He saw me, the real me. He was patient. He gave me time. He made me feel safe. And He wanted nothing from me. One scorching afternoon under the vines while His friends were resting, I found the courage to tell Him about my nightmares and my past. He listened. And then He asked what I wanted.
‘I want to be free.’
I wanted peace, to lie on my bed at night and feel safe, to be happy, to be free.
He smiled and placed a hand on my shoulder.
Immediately the dark, evil presences left. I felt lighter and oh what was that I felt? Joy. That was it. I broke into delighted laughter and He laughed with me. I’ve never heard a more joyful noise.
Life hasn’t been the same since. Jesus gave me peace in place of tension and joy in place of despair. I’ve had no fear going to bed since then. I’m no longer troubled by evil presences or nightmares.
And now He is being dragged through the streets as the worst type of criminal. They are going to crucify Him. It’s not fair. He doesn’t deserve this. He’s perfect.
That’s it. They’ve killed Him. This man of peace who does good and rescues people from oppression and a life of hell. He’s dead. Why? Oh God, why?
Featured image used with permission courtesy of Free Digital Photos and Stuart Miles.