I came across this video today and it seemed an appropriate response to my recent post on life after death as well as my current spiritual condition. I'm realizing more and more that I've been living in a state of hopelessness. As I'm faced with the reality of brokenness: within myself, within the church [Christ's body], and within our world; I've come to a point of despair. I wonder if there's any hope, any meaning, any purpose. Why read, learn, and grow? Why follow and love? Why get out of bed? Why care?
But there are faint glimmers. There are breakthroughs. There are those moments when I am down on my face wondering if God even hears, if He even cares, that I hear the still small voice, that I feel His touch, that I remember, turn back to Him once again, and believe.
The other night as we were getting ready for bed I was overwhelmed with a desire for God. I lay in bed unable to fall asleep as my heart burned within me, and finally I realized that I needed to get up and make space in my life for Him, for intimate one-on-one time. There's been less and less of that. So I got out of bed at an already late hour and started reading in John 13, which is when Jesus washes the disciples feet, and I read right up through His arrest in John 18. I honestly forget what night it was, but it must have been Maundy Thursday because I did not continue reading through the crucifixion as it was not yet Good Friday.
I was struck by this section of John 14 as it seemed to speak right to my current deliberations, and now this video brings it to mind. "Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them."
What a promise! What a hope! This is why we do not despair: because he lives, we also will live; because we are in him, we love him; because we love him, he loves us and shows himself to us. I want to see the Lord. I want to see Jesus. I want Jesus to show himself to me. And he promises that he will.
I do not despair. There is hope. Jesus has been raised! Do you believe this?
Disclaimer: I wish that I didn't have to say this, but I feel that I must. Rob Bell and his theology are controversial. I have written previously on this topic, and while I don't agree with everything that Rob has to say I can still appreciate his work and find that on this day this is what I needed to hear. Set aside the points of disagreement and this is without a doubt the gospel message: this world is broken, dark, and despairing, but that's not the end of the story. What a message! What a hope! God help us believe it.