Throughout all of human history we have struggled to meet God. We may meet people in our lives who think that God, religion, Christianity, perhaps faith in general is for the weak-minded and simple among us. There are many valid reasons that people feel that way. Upon first glance, there are many “religious” people who have rigid beliefs of “it’s us versus them”. At second and third glance; many terrible and destructive things have happened with “religious people” placing the Stamp of God upon hateful and destructive actions. If I seem sympathetic – I’m not; if I seem understanding – I am! I was one of “those people” who for so many years had a dismissive, hateful, negative attitude towards religious people for what I believed religion was all about. And given where I live, it was directly towards the only religion I had much of an awareness of at the time – Christianity. I could never imagine myself a Christian from all the “poor examples” I had met in my life.
But I will be the first to admit that I had only a vague understanding of what it meant to be a Christian then. I did not want or feel I needed to understand anything more than I did to dismiss religious people altogether. My ignorance was bliss for me then too, so I understand why it seems that this attitude and mentality doesn’t seem to move much. I was so arrogant and proud that I could not be moved on the subject. Then I met some real Christians; men and women who meekly and humbly tried their best and when I got to know them, I came to see they were ordinary folk trying to be the best people they could be. I realized my preconceived ideas needed to be challenged and my understanding needed to be deepened. While dedicated Christian Disciples showed me what a Christian really was and what we are meant to be, I am also aware that God gave me the grace of an open heart to see it in the first place.
It was through Jesus and His Disciples (these good Christians I came to know), that I really came to meet God through His Son, Jesus. I didn’t realize I was hungry for the food that Jesus offered, but when I came to realize – Jesus gave me what I needed. Jesus filled me in my need.
Throughout human history, so many of us haven’t been aware of the hunger and need we have and our hearts remained closed to what Jesus has to offer. I speak about this from experience! I was for a very long time one of those people. Jesus reached me…He gave Himself for me…He brought me in love…to Him.
I pray daily now, for those who were like me; who may see me and criticize me for being one of these weak-minded hypocrites. I have my moments still where I am these things; the difference now is that each criticism that is made of me for this is an occasion I am reminded I need to draw closer once again to the Lord who loves me!
Friends, let us consider how Jesus fills us in our own need. Let us consider how we come to the Lord for loving, healing, growth, guidance. Let us consider what we are given when we do.