Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Where's The Sugar?

I love Jesus.

I love his church.

I love the church despite the fact that it is made up of humans.

And a lot of times humans get things wrong.

Especially large groups of humans all milling about together and trying to humanize holy things.

Joy is holy.

Suffering is holy.

Rest is holy.

Hard work is holy.


Somehow, although my mind knows that Jesus invited his disciples into a holy -and HARD- life, my emotions have absorbed the Christian-group-think-candy-coated idea that Jesus makes everything better.

Recently my candy coating seems to have melted in my hand.

Instead of a safe, colorful, shiny and sweet capsule for the melty, chocolaty, palatable gospel, I have a sticky mess.

I'm stained.


Not very pretty.

Not neat and tidy.

The problem is, I'm right where I know I should be.

I am truly confident that I have been following Jesus to the very best of my ability. I don't feel like I'm being punished or paying the price of folly. I feel like I have been obedient and what I have received in return turns out to not be a pat on the back and a full bank account, but rather a forecast of difficult situations stretching ahead of me for a long way.

A small part of me, the part that wants to fit into the acceptable mold of happy churchgoer, is tempted to be disillusioned. Is tempted to feel small, because after all, what kind of press is it giving God if I say I'm following him and my life looks pretty lame right now?

But a bigger part of me feels... I don't even know what yet. I feel like my eyes have been opened. Like I've just accepted a challenge to duel. To fight against the woe-is-mes and the preconceived notions of sugary sweet salvation.

To stand up and say that Jesus is real and loving and life-giving in the midst of struggle. In the midst of frustration. In the midst of mourning. In the midst of dragging my feet and feeling reluctant to face the day because it is likely going to be REALLY HARD.

Jesus is bigger than hard.

Jesus is bigger than disillusioned.

So here I go. Into another day of "this is not what I imagined." It may not be what I dreamed of for my life, but when I said, "Here I am Lord" I meant it. I'll say it again.

Here I am.

I've counted the cost.

Where you lead, I will follow.

Let's go.


Alissa Maxwell said...

Boy Emily. That's two awesome and inspring posts in a row. Keep 'em coming. Thanks for these hard doses of reality combined with truth and inspiration.

Jobie said...

Wow! I so needed to read that especially this morning!! And my heart echoes each word ...

Angela Figgins said...

This is so good and so true Emily. I always ask myself and my girls, when things are hard,"Is this what God is telling me to do right now? If yes, then won't he equip me and give me the strength to do what he calls me to?" The answer is always yes, even though it's not fun. So we put our head down and set our jaw and just do it, knowing that it's for a reason that is good for me somewhere in God's fabulous plan. That last part lightens our heart as we go.