I hate to hear myself talk. When I do, I cringe at the sound of every time I nervously say, “its kind of a big deal” because I don’t know what else to say. I hate the shallowness of my voice and I actually find it funny that I can be a grammar Nazi all day on paper but when it comes to speaking, I have no such discipline. A couple of months ago I got to speak at my youth group and a couple of weeks ago I was informed that my podcast was on iTunes. I thought that was pretty cool… I mean, hey, I’ve never been on iTunes before. So I took advantage of this once in a lifetime deal and downloaded my own podcast (can you imagine Brandon Flowers downloading his own Killer’s album?) and last night for the first time sat down to listen to it. I couldn’t finish it though. Like I said earlier, I hate to listen to myself talk and last night I just couldn’t take it.
When I was speaking I shared part of my story and it’s humorous how Jesus used my own message to spark a something deep inside of me last night. Every now and then I need to be reminded of what a colossal douche I was once. Every now and then I need to be given the image of me spending long hours alone immersed in my sin and deep into misery. It’s good for me to see my depravity. And as I listened to the message I vividly was reminded of how for years and years I claimed Christ and spit in His face daily, whether that was by spending too long of hours learning plays, or shooting a basketball, or once again retiring to the snare of my best web friends. He was behind me the whole time, begging me to just turn around. And it wasn’t until He finally cut me open that I at last turned to see His arms stretched wide.
Often, I imagine when I had ankle surgery that Jesus was the one cutting into my ankle with that scalpel. I can see Him pushing into my skin as huge tears roll down his face and I scream as loud as I can to just make sure He knows that I am in agony. I can hear His voice softly saying, “Chris. Chris. Chris.”
This past weekend my family took care of some friend’s kids. They are 3 and 1 years old and it was a blast. This morning as my dad was bringing them on a walk, the little girl, Maggie, fell and scraped her knee pretty good. I heard her start wailing as my mom carried her hurriedly in her arms up the stairs and into their room. I was standing in the next room as I heard my mom try to calm her down. Since she’s obviously not at her own home she kept yelling “Daddy! Daddy!” and then what happened next cut me so close to the heart that I thought I was once again laying on the operating table.
When my mom started to clean her knee I heard Maggie start screaming, “No! No! No! It hurts! It hurts!” Tears started to well up strongly in my eyes as I saw so clearly the previous chapters of own story. For years I said no to Jesus and then when He finally turned me eyes to see Him, I still yelled, just as Maggie was, “No! No! No! It hurts! It hurts!” But the thing is that my mom had to clean her knee and Maggie didn’t know that if she didn’t clean her knee, it would all be much worse. Maggie can’t see long term and she doesn’t know if it wasn’t taken care of now, infection could come. The same principle is applied to the story I heard myself telling about me last night. I didn’t know the long term when I was mad at God for taking sports away from me. I didn’t know that unless he cut me open and turned my eyes towards Him, I might never have given my life fully to Him. He knew that. I didn’t.
Jesus allowed me to hear and see a beautiful rendition of His love for me and us this morning through my mom and Maggie. In the midst of Maggie yelling, “Daddy and it hurts”, Jesus painted a sweet portrait of how we may not understand pain and hurt now, but one day, one glorious day, we will. He is so good, so loving, so real, so close. And it scares me to even think of how my life would be now if He had stopped moving that knife when I kept exclaiming, “No! No! No! It hurts! It hurts!”
“And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as His children? He said, “My child, don’t make light of the Lord’s discipline, and don’t give up when He corrects you. For the Lord disciplines those He loves, and He punishes each one he accepts as His child.” –Hebrews 12:5-6