Good Friday to You,
This image represents my favorite personal illustration of “it.”
Though you may be a little troubled by my thoughts, you have had related experiences.
It happened most frequently back in my late teens and early 20s, but I’m no psychologist so I won’t try to diagnose the “why.”
It’s such a favorite of mine and I’ve told the story many times. I most vividly remember the occasions when I was driving across Route 40 between Terre Haute, Indiana and my parents’ home in Martinsville, Illinois. At the time, I was a student at Indiana State University. It think it is important to note that this was during a season of significant spiritual growth. I had rededicated my life to following Jesus and shortly after committed to pursue vocational ministry.
As I drove across Route 40, I would regularly experience what felt like an overwhelming urge to swerve into the path of an oncoming semi. It was not a desperate cry for help. I was not suicidal. My urge was most tied to the question, “What would it feel like to be going 55 mph heading east one moment and then be heading 55 mph west in the next moment?” It didn’t happen every time I met a semi. It didn’t even happen most times I met a semi, but when it did, “heart-pounding” and “overwhelming” accurately describe my experience.
My “swerve” experience may sound strange to you. You may now be concerned about what goes on in your pastor’s mind. You may have already jotted down the name of a good psychologist or counselor to give me the next time you see me. The good news is that this scenario rarely happens to me anymore. The reality, however, is that I still have “crazy” thoughts from time to time…and so do you! You have thoughts…or patterns of thoughts…that have sometimes left you thinking:
How can I really be a child of God and still struggle with this depression?
How can I be free from sin but still be plagued by this addiction?
I know forgiven people must forgive, but I feel such hate?
This weekend we continue our summer journey, Follow Along. We are learning from those who dramatically followed our Lord. Ironically, however, it only took one weekend (our study of Noah) to see that the follower is never the hero of the story. Noah’s following began as an experience of God’s grace. Noah’s following was flawed (i.e., he ends up drunk). The hero is God…every time!
We discover this truth again in the story of Abraham and Sarah. Abraham is arguably the world’s most respected person of faith…of all time! There is no denying it, Abraham dramatically followed our Lord. However, the fulfillment of God’s plan was not dependent upon Abraham perfectly following Him. And that’s a good thing, because he blew it multiple times.
Been feeling broken? Disgusted by your struggle? Ashamed that your actions haven’t lined up perfectly with your faith? You’re gonna love our time in God’s Word this weekend! You can get a head start by looking at Genesis 12:1-9. By the time we are finished, I am confident you will be greatly challenged by the grandness of God’s promise despite the failings of Abraham and Sarah.
Hope to see you this weekend,