Fill in the blank.
“_______ gives me a peace, inner peace, regardless of what’s going on in my life.”
“_______ helps me focus on the needs of others, not just the needs of myself.”
“_______ is always there. It’s like having a friend with you all the time.”
“_______ forces me to give up my hardened heart, just be thankful, and gives me peace, and the things people have been saying don’t bother me anymore.”
“_______ has given me that meaning in life everyone is looking for. A focus that … loves me and I can live my life in a different way.”
“For me, it’s like a quote I read of Bishop Tutu. It goes something like ‘I need _______ in my life to be human.”
What fits in the above blanks for you?
For the people that made these statements, the blank is filled by Jesus.
The above statements are the answers of each person in my Wednesday night Bible study group to the question: “What difference does Jesus make in your life here?”
I know each person who answered, and the above truly fit each one. Jesus works that way.
My own answer that night was “Jesus brings to me a joy, and a love for life.”
As someone that has to fight off being sad and cynical, that Jesus has this impact on me, is a life giving wonder.
But today I am particularly struck with the answer about meaning and focus.
For many of us, we can put a person’s name in that blank, and it fits. Knowing she loves me, knowing he loves me, gives me meaning, moves me to want to live my life a different way. If you have the gift of someone like that in your life, how fortunate you are! I certainly am blessed in that way too.
But that is not what this person is saying. She did not say Jesus loves so that … She said ‘Jesus has given me meaning … a focus that God loves me and I can live my life in a different way.’
It strikes me, “I could say that too.” Jesus has given me a sense of the significance of my life — the significance of his forgiveness for all my failings, significant, and otherwise — the significance of my insignificant self being loved by the artist of all beauty — the significance of his life and teachings showing me how I can live my life in a better way.
How about you?
If any of the above statements speak to an unfilled blank in your life, I invite you to visit a Christian church in the area. And the blessings of the artist of all beauty and good be with you, and known by you, in the name of Jesus.
— by Craig Tufts, depressed cynic … growing as a joyful lover of life. Pastor Craig Tufts is at Our Saviour Lutheran Church, Parksville