Saturday, 2 February 2008

Life At Its Best - 10 on Experience (from the chapter on Obedience)

What would we think of a pollster who issued a definitive report on how the American people felt about a new television special, only to discover later that he had interviewed only one person who had seen only ten minutes of the programme? We would dismiss the conclusions as frivolous. Yet that is exactly the kind of evidence that too many Christians accept as the final truth about many much more important matters - matters such as answered prayer, God's judgement, Christ's forgiveness, eternal salvation. The only person they consult is themselves and the only experience they evaluate is the most recent ten minutes. But we need other experiences, the community of experience of brothers and sisters in the church, the centuries of experience provided by our biblical ancestors. A Christian who has David in his bones, Jeremiah in his bloodstream, Paul in his fingertips and Christ in his heart will know how much and how little value to put on his own momentary feelings and the experience of the past week.
-- p. 146, Life At Its Best by Eugene Peterson

Some days, you just wake up and you feel down cast. I experience that time to time, and I often have no idea where that gloomy mornings come from. Perhaps I was too tired from the late night, or maybe some hormonal imbalance happened during my sleep. Or it could be resulting from some kind of subconscious guilty feeling about my actions yesterday, or it could be a direct attack from a devil. Whatever it is, I experience this gloomy moments, and it doesn't only happen in the morning, but it also happens during the day or evening. Some may say it's a sign of depression, and maybe it is.
It is surprisingly hard to get out of such feeling and be ready to meet other people. When it's bad, I become very grumpy and don't even want to face people, and even become afraid of talking to God, and that grumpy mood at times gets a bit worse than just an aggressive and defensive mood and becomes a venomously attacking or blindingly depressive.
So, what do I do in such situations?
Sometimes I just let the time take care of it, and often, thank God for His providence, there are enough good people around me who will cheer me up and get me out of the grumpy mood. But one thing that gets me out of such situation especially when I can't seem to find courage to pray and face God myself is nothing else but the Gospel. It is the gospel truth that tells me that God knows how weak, lost and confused I am. It is the gospel truth that tells me that no matter what I have done (even when I can't remember them), how much I sinned, how often I've rebelled and rejected God, Jesus has quenched God's righteous anger against me on the cross, hence I have no reason to fear God any more, only if I would trust Him and remain in Him, and oh, He would keep me in Christ for His sake!

So, no matter how bad you feel, how tangled and mangled you feel at the moment, by God's grace and truth, may you also find comfort and freedom in Christ.

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