Once upon a time, a long time ago, in a land far away, (really), I felt like you speak of in your brave and honest prize winning essay, “Jump.” I achieved what I set out to do, and the dreams I hadn’t yet attained were within reach. I eloped at eighteen years old. Most people skip town; I skipped the country. I had a houseful of new furniture, a 1965 Mustang, a modeling career underway and my eyes set on Europe. But I awoke many nights feeling weighted down, and like the wind could blow straight through me. Frustration and confusion badgered me, for in spite of all the things I filled my life with, I felt hollow. I wondered, what is missing, why is happy so elusive?
Then I looked on all the works that my hands had done And on the labor in which I had toiled; And indeed all was vanity and grasping for the wind. There was no profit under the sun. Ecclesiastes 2:11 NKJV
Therefore I hated life because the work that was done under the sun was distressing to me, for all is vanity and grasping for the wind. Ecclesiastes 2:17 NKJV
Then I lost everything.
Then Everything I was looking for found me, and I wasn’t empty anymore.
This is what I discovered:
Everything the world has to offer – Jesus = 0
He who loves silver will not be satisfied with silver; Nor he who loves abundance, with increase. This also is vanity. Ecclesiastes 5:10 NKJV
“For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?” Luke 9:25 NKJV
Nothing + a relationship with Jesus = Everything I need.
I am not perfect. Life is often fraught with trials. But Jesus is my firm foundation, a rock to stand on. He is my reference in the stormy seas of life, a safe harbor, my anchor.
Jesus is Not a Ball and Chain
Jesus is not a religious obligation to me; although I am obliged to Him. Knowing and spending time with Him is not a chore or another thing on my to do list. Serving Him, serving others is a privilege. His Word, His standards, are not cumbersome or chafing. I don’t view them as a bunch of rules of do’s and don’ts. Jesus is not a Kill Joy; but knowing Him will bring you joy. Certainly, God requires us to adhere to the standards set forth in His Word, or we will bear the natural consequences. But I know that what He has set in place is out of love and for our benefit. He is our creator and knows how we run best, and it’s in that light in which He has established His Word for us to live by. Jesus is not a ball and chain. He is my shelter.
You see, the burden is light when you are in love with Christ.
When we are lost
He is The Way
When we are broken
He is the restorer
For the sick in mind, body or soul
He is the healer
He is the light in the darkness
He is joy in the midst of sorrow
A clear sounding voice in the midst of confusion and turmoil
He is peace in the storm
He makes a way when there is none
When we are empty
He is our true fulfillment
We are complete in Him.
If we miss God, we miss our purpose. Life without purpose is unfulfilling. God gifts us with different talents and abilities, and has a plan for each of us. But he created us for the purpose of having a personal relationship with Him. I want all of Jesus and I want Him to have all of me. I want His plan for my life.
You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.” Psalms 139:13-16 NLT
But we can’t say “I’ll have just a little Jesus on the side and I will run the rest of the show.” Life doesn’t work very well like that, and Jesus doesn’t work like that. It’s all or nothing. He will play second fiddle to no one, or anything in our lives. He wants to be our first love. Jesus calls you to Himself, just as you are.Yes, Jesus wants your worst.But He loves you too much to leave you that way.
Jesus said, “… I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10 NKJV
“You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalms 16:11 NKJV
“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27 NKJV
You can know Him. You can cast your cares, your sin, yourself, on Him.
“For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, says the lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
“I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.” John 10:9 NKJV