Flies. Right now we have fly issues everywhere around our home. I sympathize with Pharaoh and the plague of flies. They’re relentless and vile. Landing on food after who knows what else they were on, making a constant obnoxious buzzing sound and procreate faster than the pile of dirty laundry.
Neighbors are probably pretty annoyed to. They hear us trumpet to our kids, “CLOSE THE DOOR!” Poor dears probably didn’t even have a chance to close the door we’re so jerky about the entire situation. But there’s this nifty contraption that make us feel empowered, as if we stand a chance against the army of iridescent eyed pests smaller than my pinky’s fingernail (small compared to other parts of the world, I know).
The almighty fly swatter
Whoa baby, watch out! Slap! Whoosh! Bam! You’re history!
They outnumber us, but we’re bigger. They may be faster, but we’re smarter and in the end, we are certain we will win. It’s easy to feel that way when everything seems stacked in your favor. You know those times when life gives you an extra helping of the proverbial “ick”, but you know you can manage the new boss, even if you don’t like her. You know you’ll figure out how to compensate for the unexpected thirty-dollar repair that came up last week. You know you’re not going to die from the cold you recently caught, because you always mend. We know a lot of things, and then life comes down hard.
A car that needs an engine repaired. A chronic disease with a lengthy treatment plan. A small business facing a lawsuit for practicing what they believe. A county clerk sent to jail for standing by her faith. A room of students shot mercilessly because they bravely chose Jesus over another breath.
As the pressure to conform to our culture grows, we feel the fullness of our helplessness. We feel the frailty of our position amongst circumstances and we need more than personal power, we need more than we have to offer.
Few today know where to access strength to face the days ahead when life grows heavy. As an adorable young boy, Michael Jackson won hearts with His pouffy afro, contagious smile, remarkable voice and dance skills. Over the years and many surgeries later, he resembled nothing of the boy.
Christianity in America has undergone generations of surgical transformations, implants and adjustments with each generation each further eroding the truth of Jesus.
The American Jesus of today is customized to fit with your current political views (great article here about Jesus and politics), socioeconomic status, and basic (and arbitrary) “likes”. Christianity is used as a bartering tool or bully stick, depending on your position and perspective. Truly, the modern American Jesus is nothing more than a fly swatter in the hands of a believer, the person who still believes the lie that they hold the power.
Jesus said He is coming; He said if often and even used the adjective quickly. When He returns, America, you will have a rude awakening. Jesus didn’t come to save your political party or social agenda; He came to save your precious soul. When He returns, He won’t seem weak or helpless; He won’t be living surrendered to the authority of the local government. No He is so magnificent John fell at His feet as if he were dead! (Revelation 1:17)
I can’t put to words the most incredible moonrise I’ve witnessed. While backpacking, I laid down to sleep atop a very narrow ridge but was awakened and alarmed by the brightness and grand size of the moon rising at my feet. I cannot even fathom putting words to seeing Jesus, and a Jesus ready to rescue His beloved.
“Clothed in a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength.”
My Jesus didn’t look like that. I still had my sweet Jesus image, you know, the classic portrayals of Jesus on a hilltop, hand extended in benevolence to a mixed crowd of men, women and children. Then life got rough. I need more than the Jesus image I’ve created; I need more than myself.
When life gets gritty, as you know it does, we need THE Jesus to depend on, the Jesus beyond a warm heart and miracles. The Jesus-Redeemer we look to when life looks like an impossible failure isn’t flimsy and ours to manipulate, He is mighty, and He is strong.
What does your Jesus look like today?