Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are - yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:14-16.
I was listening to a Jon Foreman song tonite, "A Cure for the Pain" and like most songs that I have listened to a number of times, I heard it for the "first time" tonite. It captured my attention, because as I listened to the words, I heard my story in this song. I heard the pain of the past 10+ years. I heard the desperation to find a "cure", to find relief from the depression and anxiety. I looked for cures everywhere, medication, counseling, nurtrition, deliverance and healing ministries, you name it, I searched it out. All of it done with a lot of crying out to God. But when it was all said an done there were no "quick cures" for the pain. At one time or another some of these helped in a manner of speaking to "function" in life. But none got down to the true heart of the matter, dealing with the real pain and providing life, peace and joy.
When the medication "stopped" working for me several years ago, and I was scared to keep trying different ones. I began to hear the Lord say to me, come unto me all you who are weary and heavy ladden and I will give you rest". I realized that I was at a place where I had to truly just trust him. After much prayer, I realized that it was time to get off the Rx's I was taking, which was not an easy thing to do. But I heard in my heart God saying, "Jay get in the boat and cross over", just as he told his disciples and then left and went up on the mountain. Soon the storms arose and the waters got rough and the disciples were afraid. Yet as they looked across the waters, Jesus came walking toward them. Jesus was revealing himself to them as more than just a teacher, as more than just a man. He was God himself, incarnate, Creator and Lord of all nature. Soon after he entered the boat, the storms subsided and peace came.
My boat ride has been pretty rough. Because getting off of an addictive anti-anxiety medication that you have taken for years is not easy. Actually it is down right terrifying. It feels like you are in a boat being tossed by every wind and wave in the storm and Jesus is no where to be found. You feel abandoned, afraid and greatly ashamed of your condition. You begin to question if you have ever even heard from God in your life and wish for the former days when life was much simpler. But then if the disciples had stayed on the shore, they would not have received the "revelation" of Jesus walking on the water. I suspect that Peter and John who had spent a lot of time fishing on Galilee, could see the signs that a storm was coming, but they obeyed Jesus anyway and got into the boat.
In order for Jesus to heal the pain, to get to the other side, we have got to get into the boat, even if doing so will result in passing through what feels like even more pain than what we started with. Because until we do, there can be no cure for what truly ails us deep in our hearts. That pain comes in many forms and expresses itself in so many ways. Mine expressed itself in anxiety and depression. For others it can be addictions or a tremendous need to control life all around them. For others it is getting lost in hobbies or even religion. They all look different, some worse than others. But when it is all said and done, we all need to hear the Lord speak to us "to get into the boat" and pass through the storm. Sometimes the doctor has to lance the wounds in order to heal them.
The good news is that Jesus always comes and reveals himself to us in the way we need him most. We need that revelation of who he is and of his love because we all tend to "intellecutalize" our understanding of who Jesus is and what his Salvation truly means to us. But until we actually realize our need for a "Savior/Saver" we cannot truly know who HE is. So take heart because we have a great high priest who has shared in our temptations to despair, to give up, to want to lose hope, to despise ourselves, to give up on God, to not believe in his love. Yes that is what the scripture says, " he was tempted in everyway that we are, yet without sin". Sounds almost sacrilegious that Jesus experienced those kinds of temptations, but the word says he did. But the good news is that he did not sin, he did not give into them. Because of that he was worthy to be our sin sacrifice, he was worthy to suffer in our behalf and he is worthy to be our high priest, full of compassion and grace.
Come to him in the midst of whatever struggle you are having. Whatever temptation you are enduring to not believe that God is truly good and truly loves you. He is not your enemy or the cause of your pain. He has made the way through his sacrifice of Love on the cross. He has paid the price for my failures and yours. He has made the way into the Holy of Holies accesible through his blood shed on a cross. Bring him your tears, your weaknesses, your fears and yes your sins. Because as the songs says.....heaven knows.