He knows what it’s like
by REV. HELEN H. COLLINS
North Kent Presbyterian Church
I had lunch with a friend today, whom I haven’t seen for almost a year. But this is the kind of friendship in which you just sort of pick up where you left off. We caught up on the important news and before we knew it, we’d been sitting there talking for four hours. (I figure I can do that without guilt on my day off.)
One of the reasons we are such good friends is that we have a lot in common. We’re both musical. She plays the organ. I play the piano. Her children are close in age to mine, close enough that we feel as though we raised them at the same time. And we’ve experienced some of the same problems in life, so I know my friend “gets me.” Although we don’t agree about everything; we don’t judge each other. We understand that people of good conscience can disagree. One thing we do agree on is our faith in God and our belief in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
As I drove the 30 miles to meet my friend today, I thought about how my friendship with Jesus is a lot like my friendship with her. Sometimes I don’t talk to Him as often as I should, but when I do we just pick up where we left off. I know I don’t do or say or think everything Jesus would, but I know He doesn’t judge me. He just loves me anyway. And the more I read about Him and talk to Him, the more I realize He understands first-hand the things I’m going through. Jesus understands joy and sorrow. He experienced frustration, anger, pain and rejection. He knows what it’s like to want to do something different from what God wants. When He went to the cross, He even knew what it was like to feel separated from God.
It makes me sad that sometimes the people think that you have to have your life in order before you can approach God, that somehow you have to be “good enough” or you shouldn’t come. If you read God’s handbook, you’ll discover that’s not true. The next time you feel bad or useless and are too far from God to do any good, just remember… Noah was a drunk, Abraham was too old, Isaac was a daydreamer, Jacob was a liar, Leah was ugly, Joseph was abused, Moses had a stuttering problem, Gideon was afraid, Sampson had long hair and was a womanizer, Rahab was a prostitute, Jeremiah and Timothy were too young, David had an affair and was a murderer, Elijah was suicidal, Isaiah preached naked, Jonah ran from God, Naomi was a widow, Job went bankrupt, John the Baptist ate bugs, Peter denied Christ, the disciples fell asleep while praying, Martha worried about everything, the Samaritan woman was divorced (more than once), Zaccheus was too small, Paul was too religious, Timothy had an ulcer… and Lazarus was dead! Don’t miss out on a wonderful friendship. If God can love all of them, He can—and does—love you, too.