Jesus wants to invade our present reality, untangle the past, and bring the hope of the future into the present. - Matt Chandler
Let’s face it, I think we can all agree that there are things in our present reality that are difficult and challenging. We’re just turning the corner on a pandemic that has gripped the world since the fall of 2019. Fear invaded our psyches as toilet paper flew off the shelves, and accusatory glares inappropriately targeted the Asian community, unwitting droopy-maskers, and anyone whose allergies caused them to suddenly cough or sneeze in public. In an effort to keep people safe, businesses and schools were closed. The resulting job loss has created food insecurities, and together with a year of on-line school, has caused depression and anxiety for both parents and children alike. Domestic violence has escalated and victims have been locked in their homes with their abusers as a result of stay at home orders. In Canada, we are mourning together with our First Nations Peoples as the unmarked mass grave of 215 First Nations children has been located at a former Residential School. More grave-sites are expected to be found across the country. Perhaps, the challenges of your present reality is dealing with illness, an unexpected pregnancy, addiction, or elder care — the list goes on and on.
Jesus wants to invade this reality, untangle the hurt of the past, and bring the hope of the future into your present.
Your present may be built on the foundation of loss, abandonment, betrayal, or physical or mental illness. Perhaps, those impossible decisions of the past seem to have shaped your present, but they don’t need to define you or your future. Jesus‘ greatest desire is to untangle the mess and show you the way to a future with him. After too many years of carrying the shame and hurt of my childhood trauma, decades of suicidal thoughts, cyclically running through my head every eight years or so, I broke down and laid it at the feet of Jesus. I admitted that I was unable to carry the load any further and told him that it was his problem now. Once I let it go, and gave it to him, I felt an immediate release and found freedom to truly live free.
There are no secrets with Jesus. He knows everything already. Though we often try to hide behind a facade of health and well-being, there is no need to try to hide from him, and no need for pretence. He knows if you want to yell, so yell. He knows if you want to cry, so cry. Be honest, he knows if you're not.
In my experience, the change, once I let go, was quick, and for others it takes some time as they journey together with a doctor, therapist or friend. Either way, accountability and discipleship is an important factor. Expect that Jesus will bring people into your life to lean on (1 Corinthians 12:26). We are family, after all. And as you transition through the hurt, you will see opportunities to take flight and soar (Isaiah 40:41). This is Jesus bringing the hope of the future into your present. Through his death and resurrection, Christ has already conquered death, pain and suffering, and wants to give you that hope for the future -- a future rooted in him.
There will, undoubtedly, continue to be setbacks and struggles in this world (John 16:33), but know that Jesus will be there with you to carry you through. You need only reach out and take his hand.
He is waiting.