1 Minute Message
1 minute message
1 minute message
1 minute message
Guest post by Joey Svendsen (Seacoast’s James Island Campus Pastor)
Guest post by my friend Seth Farrior (Seacoast’s Internet Campus Pastor)
I have to be honest and say that sometimes I think that doing Christianity justice means pretending that I have my act together. Once you learn the right things to say, it gets pretty easy to pretend. What I have found over the years however, is that transparency is by far the greater path. I read a quote once by Watchman Nee and he said that “Christianity is not merely a positive thing or a negative thing. It is not merely the bestowal of divine strength, nor is it merely the extraction of human weakness. It is the bestowal of divine strength within human weakness.” That’s the paraphrase, but I’m sure you get the idea.
When you become a Christian, a supernatural power begins to work in your life. If my life is a testimony of anything, it is a testimony of this truth. That being said, through the sins I’ve committed and the brokenness that comes along with being human, I definitely have my own baggage that I daily have to battle through.
I’m 32 now and when I was 27, I was having a really tough time. Anxiety has always kind of been my default emotion and it’s been something I’ve had to learn to manage and combat. I’m not perfect about it now, but I’ve definitely come a long way. When I was 27, I felt very overwhelmed. I was battling anxiety, but I didn’t really have an understanding of what I was up against. I decided to go see a professional counselor and after some conversation, he suggested I also see a psychiatrist. It actually felt incredible to sit down with someone who seemed to understand perfectly what I was going through.
I came back to their office for a session with the counselor and that was when he shared with me what they believed was going on. They diagnosed me with OCD. I didn’t have a lot of the strange rituals that one might anticipate with that diagnosis, but it’s basically the way I was managing my anxiety. I have to be honest, at first I didn’t want to share this with anyone.
I felt like something major was wrong with me. Part of me wanted to deny that I had this or I at least wanted to significantly underestimate the significance of it. There’s a lot I could say about my journey since then, but what I want to share in this particular post is the healing that comes through transparency. Because we all live on planet earth, there is brokenness in us. None of us get a pass on this. The best illustration I know of for this is the moon.
Think about the moon for a minute. It has no natural light of it’s own and is covered with tons of cracks and craters. In and of itself, it would be easy to argue that it’s not that much to look at. What makes the moon a beautiful orb that adorns the night sky is the sun. Because the sun’s light shines on it, the cracks and craters that could be considered ugly actually become beautiful contours that contribute to the moon’s splendor.
So with you and me. Because we are human beings, we have the cracks and craters. There is someone however, who can take our different cracks and craters and make them beautiful contours that reflect his glory. Jesus Christ is that someone. He doesn’t say that we need to have our act together or that we need to clean up before we come to him. He actually says, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30) He wants us to come to him in our brokenness and then he promises to use even the messed up stuff in our lives for our good and his glory. (Romans 8:28)
The question for each of us is this….will you choose to step out of the shadows and into the Son’s light allowing his love to shine on you for the world to see? “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” (Revelation 3:20) He’s knocking on the door of your heart…will you hear and respond?
I didn’t want to share that I….a pastor, a professor, a Christian…was diagnosed with OCD. To me it just seems like a big ole crater that I would just as soon hide from everyone. I’m believing though, that even the cracks and craters in my life can be used to point back to God’s goodness to me. I hope you will do the same.