(Today’s post by Marc Cannon)
There is a long line of people in my world that have often said that they’d love to sit on a bar stool and have a conversation with Jesus. I surmise that there have been many who have, me being one of those. I’ve often posed this question to myself and my friends as well; “If Jesus were to sit down next to me on a bar stool, what would He say?”
“Who do you say I am?”
Here in Luke 9 Jesus poses a question to His disciples. I think it left them perplexed to start with. But that question just wasn’t for the first Twelve, it was meant for all of His disciples, including you and me. I suppose that there are several answers to this question that could be technically correct, but I believe He’s asking, “Who do you say I am?” to each of us personally. Is He your Lord, or not?
I’ve always been an open book and maybe that’s left me vulnerable in some ways, but it’s helped me to cope with my demons. Over the last 8 months I’ve struggled with a myriad of highs and lows. I’ve gotten engaged to the love of my life and I have struggled with depression, anxiety and worst of all insomnia. This is by far the worst thing I’ve ever encountered in this life. Living on 12-15 hours of sleep a week is utterly demoralizing and compounds stress and feeds anxiety. In my case, I have a great doctor who has been able to help me cope and deal with each of these issues. The mental strain through all of this is draining and has caused a drain to my faith as well. In my mind I tell myself that I can beat it on my own…but I can’t. I don’t fear any man and truthfully I’d rather crawl in the ring with Brock Lesner and fight tooth and nail than to deal with the fight behind my eyes.
Jesus follows up His question with an imperative statement about true life. Then he said to them all:
23 “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.”
There are many interpretations of this statement, and there’s more to it than these 2 verses, but for me, my cross is heavy and my life is worthy to give. When He says to lose my life He wants to strip my hurts and pain to rely on Him so that He may guide me. He doesn’t want to strip me of my joy but enhance it. He knows that the world is fleeting and what we have here doesn’t hold value. For some unknown reason it’s hard for most to give up the things we struggle with. Change is scary no matter if it’s for the better. But it starts with prayer.
If you’re struggling today, take a knee, and just ask Him for encouragement and a clear mind. Ask Him to lead you into greener pastures. Know it won’t always be easy, but there will be peace…It starts with prayer.