Trust me, I actually get that.
People we love wound us. People we trust betray us. Life goes wrong.
Sometimes, it goes way, way wrong.
We slowly become wounded and begin to walk away from whatever or whoever we perceive has hurt us.
Walking away from a source of continual wounding isn’t a bad instinct if placed in the proper perspective. Too often , I fear, it becomes tempting to walk away from the wrong thing.
We walk away from the solution to our hurts instead of walking away from the source of our hurts.
We get hurt by church experiences, hurt by other Christians, hurt by family, and hurt by life events– and at least in a practical sense, we end up walking away from Jesus.
I believe the most important reminder we can give ourselves is to remember the truth that Jesus isn’t the one who did that.
We all have a “that”, and I don’t know what your “that” is. But whatever “that” is, I do know one thing: Jesus isn’t the one who did that.
Jesus isn’t the one who wounds, but is the one who embraces the wounded. Jesus isn’t the one who hurts, but is the one who longs to sit next to the one who is hurting. Jesus isn’t the oppressor but instead becomes one of the oppressed. Jesus is the one who chooses to be counted among the outsiders instead with the powerful.
Jesus is not the person, people, institutions, or life events that we functionally blame on him when we walk away from it all.
Jesus isn’t the controlling pastor, the church gossip, or the oppressive clique. Jesus isn’t the cheating spouse, the dishonest employer, or your swindling mechanic. Jesus isn’t the abusive mother, the absent father, or the babysitter who molested you. Jesus isn’t that drunk driver, that freak accident, or that chronic pain. Jesus isn’t the terminal illness, the empty bed, or the sleepless nights. Jesus isn’t the lost job, the negative bank account, or the foreclosed house. Jesus isn’t the wounded relationship, the insufferable betrayal, and the lost years. Jesus isn’t that fire, he’s not that fall, and he sure as hell is not that child-sized casket.
Jesus, I assure you, isn’t any of that.
In fact, Jesus is the opposite of whatever that is.
I don’t know about you, but I have a long list of “thats” in my life. Most days, it’s this that, or the other that, that temps me to crawl into my emotional hole… alone. Sadly, it’s easy to blame that, even subconsciously, on the only one who is not responsible for that.
Jesus, my friends, isn’t that. In fact, I actually believe that he is the solution to that.
Instead of functionally taking it out of him Jesus invites us to get a giant burlap bag, load up all of our “thats”, and let him carry the weight of that for us.
“Come to me– everyone who is tired, burnt out, and who has a load too heavy. Come to me, and I’ll trade off with you… because what I’m carrying isn’t that.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
Jesus isn’t the cause of that but one who wants to walk beside you while you’re dealing with that.
So, if your “that” is something that you’re subconsciously taking out on Jesus and is keeping you from following him, can I just remind you of something?
Jesus isn’t that.
He’s the opposite.