Memos from the Middle

Smack-Dab in the Middle of Living

Comfort in the Humanity of Christ

I’ve shared before that praying for stronger faith in God necessarily means that I’ll find myself in situations that require me to trust in Him completely. I would be lying if I said that I’ve passed every test.  I would be lying if I said that I even recognized every test as such and met challenges as opportunities to demonstrate my growing faith. I would be lying if I said that I continue to pray this prayer even when I am faced with adversity. If I’m telling the truth, Friend, you’ll hear me say that I fail A LOT. I don’t trust Him like I should, and I pray easier prayers sometimes, hoping to get a reprieve from the onslaughts of life. After all, I’m only human, right?

Lately, it’s the humanity of Christ that has been bringing me comfort. This isn’t some misery-loves-company comfort, though. This is the comfort that comes from the wisdom of shared experience. This is the comfort that comes from the credibility of an authority on the subject.

I’m equally humbled and inspired by the realness of the human experience God gave Jesus. He could have been born in a palace to a king and queen, bathed in earthly riches. He could have walked on freshly strewn rose petals like Prince Akeem in the opening scenes of Coming to America. He could have led a charmed life, never witnessing or feeling the weight of human existence. But this wasn’t His life. He got hungry and tired and angry and weepy just like me.

Most of the time, the divinity of Christ, His power, and His graces and mercies fill me with joy and the will to keep moving, but sometimes, in truth, it’s the very fact that Jesus himself knows through experience what I’m feeling that brings me peace. He’s not just pontificating from some vicarious struggle or perceived hurt. Instead, He lived the very things plaguing me. Moreover, like me, He found himself only able to find real reassurance and comfort from God.

How many times have I gone to friends or family members to vent and find camaraderie? I’ve always thought of these conversations as fruitful because, in some way, they’ve allowed me to destress a bit or be validated or even simply be heard. Most of the time, these venting sessions end up with me on the giving or receiving end of advice. But if I am truly reflective and honest with myself, these conversations are not all that comforting, nor are they a catalyst for real change. In actuality, more often than not, I’ve wasted my time. At worst, they’ve left me feeling more anxious or fed up or paralyzed.

Usually, it’s in the quiet moments of prayer and Bible study that I come to the revelations necessary to get up and put one foot boldly in front of the other to face life head on. I learn that Jesus, too, was uneasy sometimes, needing to steal away to pray because His earthly companions just could not provide the support He required to continue His journey. He needed to have faith in God’s plan. He had turmoil mount up in His life as He went about fulfilling His destiny, too, and for me, today, this brings peace to my spirit.

 

 

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