This one’s going to be hard to articulate, so I ask you to bear with me as I attempt to put into words what has been on my mind and in my heart these past few weeks.
It’s about living in our protective and self-made bubbles. It’s about avoidance, friends. It’s about withdrawing, forgetting, ignoring, and self-protecting. It’s about closing our eyes.
It’s about selfishness. Pure, utter and total selfishness.
Yes. This is going to be another one of those blog posts. And I get to talk about it, because I am a prime offender. I can’t speak for you, but I can tell you that I like my little feel-good bubbles. I like them way to much and I often do everything in my power to avoid having them popped wide open.
I like to be comforted. And I often look to my own devices to find those soft and fluffy things that will make me feel good. It’s a fact.
And although it is not always wrong to seek comfort and regroup, to care for ourselves so we can be better for others, our motivation behind it is what is important.
- Are we trying to run from something, or are we moving TOWARDS God?
- Are we becoming so comfortable that we never come back out again?
These are the burning questions on my mind lately.
So, before you get to this next part, please keep in mind that this is not a political post. This is not just about refugees or people hurting in other parts of the world.
This is about the state of humanity all around us and inside of us! It is about how we don’t want to look at the ugly and how we think somehow, that by closing our eyes to it, we can escape it.
So this came across my news feed the other day on face book – and it reminded me, friends. It reminded me about the bubble – the dangerous bubble of self-protection we often live inside of and guard with all that we have.
You see, he reminded me ~ this little boy reminded me. What he expressed deep from within his sincere little heart right before he died brings back home (it never should have left) the truth ~ the OPPOSITE of what our world and our modern culture tells us is the actual truth.
- We are NOT to live for ourselves.
- We are NOT to close our eyes to the suffering all around us.
- There ARE and WILL be consequences for everything humanity is doing against humanity, and ultimately, against GOD.
And this little boy is telling on us.
GOOD FOR HIM!
I think about Jesus and how He was when he walked this earth alongside of us. I think of how although he often retreated to the mountains or the quiet places to spend time with His Father in prayer, He then immediately immersed Himself among the lost, the suffering, the left out and the shunned.
Jesus didn’t avoid looking suffering right in the face. Not the suffering of others around Him, and not the suffering He took upon HIMSELF.
No. Jesus is not about avoidance of the ugly. Jesus IS about the hope and beauty that only HE can bring about as He steps inside of our ugly mess and pulls us up, up, up.
Ugly stuff ain’t got nothing on the power of Jesus Christ, friends.
And Jesus sees right through our “protective” little bubbles – the ones we like to think hide us from the bad and uncomfortable stuff and even from His divine and mighty view. You know these bubbles well, I’m sure. The’re those things we use to prevent anyone from seeing the pain and ugly within ourselves. They’re the little things we try to tell ourselves will shield us from things that might drag us down.
We think they are our friends, but they’re just big, fat fakers. Masters of illusion. Liars.
He sees inside and He is telling us that there is a time to come out.
There is a time to burst out of the bubble and rejoin the living – the ugly of it and the beauty of it, friends.
All of it.
There comes a time to rejoin – the reality in life – to look it full in the face and soak up the whole of it.
- The beauty.
- The ugly.
- The heartache, joy and pain.
But it’s hard. It is so hard to open our eyes and come out of our cocoons of self protection, isn’t it? It feels so warm and soft inside and out there – well, it’s cold and harsh, man.
It’s challenging for any of us to do this – especially when the world tells us the opposite of truth:
You have to look out for number 1.
You must stay positive above all else.
Remove negative forces from your life and immediate environment – that is the true mark of a healthy human being.
Don’t tolerate negativity or stuff that just drags you down.
I find it especially difficult because of my health and the nature of my Fibro – people often ask me why I spend so much time studying world events and news when it’s just so negative! I do so because I am somewhat trapped inside of my home due to my condition – trapped from going to be a part of things that are too overwhelming for my senses and my nervous system. I don’t want to go completely dark while I am not able to go “out” into the world as much as I could before I had the Fibro.
I don’t want to lose complete touch with what is going on in the “outside” world.
I find that the Lord gives me a peace about having to look the ugly full in the face as I watch the news, read about world events, and compare these things with what He tells us in the Word.
I don’t like to see the suffering, friends – but I see the good in how the Lord uses this to remind me it’s NOT ALL ABOUT ME.
But I have to be careful, just like anyone else does – that in “managing” my Fibromyalgia, I don’t end up staying in the cocoon all the time. I have to be willing to venture out and take risks so I don’t get caught inside the bubble of health management. It’s a hard one, I tell ya – and it bothers me. I need prayer over this matter, for sure.
There is so much outside of our own little world – our own bubbles, so to speak – the ones we create for ourselves or the ones that circumstance lays upon us. Sometimes we can’t burst out all the way due to things like health issues, living in a remote location, or being in a place and time in your life where you are somewhat stuck where you are for right now.
But the Lord has given us so many ways to stay connected – even in the midst of such limitations.
When I look the ugly full in the face – when I look at the suffering I see around me – it’s only a microscopic picture of what is really happening, I know. And even that small amount is so-very-unpleasant.
- It’s tempting to avoid it.
- It’s easier to run from it.
- It’s “better for us” to take care of ourselves and surround ourselves ONLY WITH those things that make us feel good.
But when we do that, we miss out on all God has for us.
When we do that, we don’t get to see the way Jesus works His divine wonders through even the ugly and the dark, the suffering and the pain, the seemingly insurmountable circumstances and state of the dark side of humanity and darts and arrows of the enemy.
We don’t get to truly appreciate the triumph and saving grace of the Lord if we don’t look it ALL full in the face.
So today I am reminded:
- I am reminded of how when something dark and sad pulls deep within me and tugs at my heart in ways that hurt – that literally hurt – Jesus is there.
- I am reminded of the fact that the Lord came to save the lost and LOVED US ENOUGH TO DIE FOR US even while we were still sinners.
- I am reminded that Jesus never tries to avoid looking at the suffering for His own sake, rather, meets us right there and looks it full in the face with us.
The state of the world can be depressing if we lose sight of that – if we rely upon how things are going as our true indicators of how Jesus works and moves in mighty ways, we shall be lost.
We shall spiral down the staircase that leads to nothing but death, utter hopelessness and despair.
If we look full in the face the reality of the world – the horrid things that happen to us and to others in their suffering and REMEMBER WHAT JESUS CAME FOR – we will know.
- We will know that ONLY HE can save us.
- We will know that although sad and terrible, these things are part of what He said would happen as the time draws near for His return.
We will remember and we will know.
- We will know, just as this sweet little boy in the photo above knew – all the way up to his last breath:
We can tell it all to God.
God IS there for us, in spite of how much evil there is in this world.
He has NOT forgotten us.
And our real home is with Him.
Little boy didn’t get the option of staying inside a bubble of comfort – quite the opposite is true. And now?
- Little boy is not crying any more.
- He is no longer suffering.
- He is home in his eternal and beautiful home with Jesus.
He knew that he was going and he knew that God would be welcoming him home soon and very soon after this photo was taken.
And he’s telling it all to God!
Little boy’s earthly life was taken from him – but he is telling God everything. Just as God asks us to do. And now, no one can take life from him ever again. Praise God!!!!!!
- No one can take his joy from him now.
- No one can inflict suffering upon him now.
- He has the ear of the Lord right there with him now – and for always.
Thanks be to God. No more need for bubbles.
THANKS BE TO GOD!
Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy. When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. John 16:20-22