From an aching heart to aching hearts
We’re all aching from and for various things, and you know that already. We’re all made in the same image, and you know that, too, even if we don’t always act like it. We’re all sinners, but sadly, all of us seem to forget that now and then, and some of us refuse to believe it. Why am I writing? Because I love you all so very much, though at times this love is hidden beneath a veil of hate. I’m sorry for that hate. Please bear with me in those dark moments, because I’m not done learning yet.
We’ve all fallen into bad habits of sinning, and I want to remind you, though many of you already know, that they can be broken. How? Through blood shed 2000 years ago on a Roman cross. How could blood save us? By working in the opposite way that sin corrupted us. (Romans 5:12-14) A perfect man disobeyed, and death was the consequence of his actions. A perfect Man obeyed, and his perfect blood dripped on a world full of sin, and so He became the propitiation for our sins, reconciling us to the Father. (1 John 2:1-2, 2 Corinthians 5:17-18) And then our Father, who spoke the curse, commanded the curse to die. And it is dying now. Let it die. Don’t hold onto it. Let it go. (1 Corinthians 15:54-55, Isaiah 25:8) The scriptures are extremely clear about these things.
I know the curse still stings. We’ve all felt it, some of us more, some of us less. We are all angry, to some extent, for having felt it at all, and in one sense we are right to feel anger. We are right to hate the pain and sorrow that our countless sins have caused. That is righteous anger, and it spurs us on to fight harder and love deeper. But we must be careful to not let this anger boil into the anger of man. (James 1:19-21, Ephesians 4:25-27, Ecclesiastes 7:9)
There is a clear dividing line between righteous anger and unrighteous anger. The former motivates us to throw off the “sin which clings so closely,” (Hebrews 12:1). The latter promotes sin. We are wrong to hold onto the angers of man because these are the angers that cause sin. These are the angers that we loved when we nailed Jesus to the cross. We are wrong to feel these angers because Christ told us to rejoice, because the Father sent His Son into the heart of these angers, and then joy sprang up in the midst of them. This joy is only leaven right now, and that is why we still feel the sting of sin. But when the whole lump of bread is leaven the sting will be gone, and none of us will remember it. But all of us who live our whole lives holding onto unrighteous anger, thinking that pain is better than joy, will feel the overwhelming pierce of joy when it has grown full, and will ache for more of it, but will never be satisfied.
And now I would like to address some of you specifically.
To those who are faithful in Christ: Thank you so much for loving God, spreading the joy of his salvation and for using your gifts to build the body of Christ. And thanks for all the other lovely things you do. Without you all, I’d be a total wreck. God is so good! Please continue steadfast in the LORD, committing all your ways to him. (Proverbs 3:5-12) I’ll try to do the same.
To those who hate God or think he doesn’t exist: I am sure you have your reasons for what you believe. I would encourage you to reflect on life as a whole, if you haven’t already. Life is miraculous, and our hands can’t prove and explain everything. If you can find meaning in living your whole life rejecting God or hating Him, then go ahead and live your life that way, so long as you love your neighbor as yourself. I am angry that you live the way you do, and I wish you would believe in God, but I won’t, and can’t force you to do so. Only God can change your heart. Always remember that you have been loved from the beginning of the world, and will be loved for eternity. And know that you are commanded, called, and invited to come and join the body of Christ. If you’re thirsty, we’ll give you a drink. Keep in mind, though, that there is a date set for the wedding feast, and one day it will be too late to join us, even if you want to.
To those who aren’t sure which road to take: Choose life, cherish it, and live accordingly. True joy is found in Christ, and He spoke His Word so that you could take hold of it and share it with others.
God gives us all a taste of Heaven here on this earth. It is only a taste because there are goodbyes. Good must have been put at the beginning of the word goodbye as a reminder that God works for good even through a bye, because a bye is a sharp word. Often we cry when we say goodbye, and it seems that the only true comfort is to remember that separation is only for a time. This world is the only taste of Heaven the unbeliever will ever know, but for us who believe, it is just the beginning. This world is the only taste of Heaven that an unbeliever desires, but for us who believe, we ache for the day when we will stand at Christ’s feet and cast our crowns before him, and we will be satisfied.
God’s Kingdom may seem small at times, but it is growing. So be a part of it, or you’ll die an old miser who refuses all the love bestowed upon him.
Finally, enjoy every laugh and don’t forget to sing and smile. Love every person you meet and stare with grace at all the eyes you see. If you don’t do this, you will be filled with regrets that will walk with you all the way to death. Soon things will change. Familiar faces will have moved away. A loved one will have died. And every opportunity that you don’t take hold of now will soon be gone. Forget the frowns that will soon be no more, and reflect on Christ’s wisdom. You have a choice. Choose life and cherish it. (Deuteronomy 30:19)
Your fellow citizen