I Can Only Imagine...
Waking up this Sunday morning brings me both Joy and sorrow on this, The Lord’s day. I feel joy because of another day that our Father has granted me with my wife and kids. Even though Johnny was screaming because he didn’t want to charge his tablet and Jason was crying because he didn’t get the same number of cinnamon rolls as Stella had. Mind you, Jason had some leftover French Toast from yesterday; but that didn’t matter to him (I ended up giving him half of mine). Its days like these, both wonderful and terrible, that make me thankful that we’ve been given a temporary home that, for a believer, is the closest the Hell that we will ever experience and, for a nonbeliever, the closest to Heaven they’ll ever get. It also gives me a sense of urgency to TRY and open people’s eyes of both believers and nonbelievers of how temporary this home is. The hardest part of being a living Testimony, other than the fact that I fall on my face which feels like every single minute of every single day, but trying to open the eyes of one who THINKS they’re Saved but are really following a God who is not the God of the Bible. It’s terrifying, really. I’ve always said that I’d rather try and convert an Atheist than a “Believer”.
Many times, when I speak with a person who was born a Christian or a Catholic (What does that even mean??), they say something to the extent of:
“Well, when I get to Heaven, I’m going to ask God why bad things happen to good people.”
“How come you made Jesus the ONLY way to Heaven?! If you’re so loving, why not make ALL ways to get to Heaven?”
I’m not going to sit here and talk Theology and Doctrine to you today. There are people MUCH smarter than me who write on this every day and I couldn’t do all of that Justice. Joby Martin of Eleven22 says it best when he said,
“’Why does God let bad things to happen to good people?’
We ask the wrong question.
The REAL question is
‘Are there any good people?’
There was ONE, and He died for our sins.”
If you read that quote with an open Heart, you’ll see the Power of it. There was only one man who was GOOD, and He WILLINGLY was nailed to a tree, for US! WOW! Every once and awhile, I come across the song by Mercy Me titled “I Can Only Imagine”. For those who haven’t heard the song, the song writer is trying to imagine how he’d react when he sees Christ for the first time in Heaven. A part of the song goes:
“Surrounded by your glory
What will my heart feel
Will I dance for you Jesus
Or in awe of You be still
Will I stand in your presence
To my knees will I fall
Will I sing hallelujah
Will I be able to speak at all
I can only imagine”
It’s a sobering and thought-provoking song, beautifully written and orchestrated. Listening to it, you can’t help but put yourself in the song-writer’s shoes and ask yourself what YOU would do.
I’m a Follower of Jesus Christ. I have Repented of my sins and asked The Lord to transform me and refine my Heart and Soul. I’ve done some VERY bad things in my life. I’ve done things that would make your stomach turn. I am not a good man. I’m a sinful wretch and most of my friends would agree at BEST and pile on at WORST. I’ve been shot and left for dead. While in a coma for 20 days, I saw things that would terrify you in your dreams for a lifetime, trust me, every night. I’ve felt Hatred, Anger, Lust, Envy, Vengeance… the list goes on. Even TODAY, I’ve said and thought things that would make even the most hardened of men, blush. I DON’T deserve God’s Grace and forgiveness. I don’t.
So, when I hear this song, I ask myself what I would do when in the presence of the One who died for my Sins. I can TRULY say that there won’t be any dancing, stillness, standing, singing or any joy at all.
As I write this today, I’ll tell you truthfully that I will be pressing my face as hard a I can to the ground; trying desperately to get UNDER the ground. There WILL be an uncontrollable sobbing and a complete, all-consuming, Shame and Unworthiness to be in His presence. The only way I will get off the ground is if Jesus, in His all-loving goodness, comes and peels me off the ground. There will be NO questions about the meaning of life, or why bad things happen to “good” people. There will be NONE of that. Maybe in the thousandth year of Eternity, but even then, I doubt I’ll have the audacity to ask such an asinine question. I will be one of the most UNWORTHY people in Heaven! Will I go to Heaven? ABSOLUTELY! But I DO NOT deserve to go to Heaven.
Loved ones, we only have so long on this world. God says our lives “Are like a breath; their days are like a fleeting shadow.” (Psalm 144:4). We aren’t here very long, and we don’t know the day we will be called to stand trial (or be called home). As short as this life is, it’s of the UPMOST importance! There are people walking around our Nation and around the World, who don’t know the Truth of the Gospel or worse, THINK they are Saved when, they’re on the broad road to destruction. We need to reach our brothers, sisters, friends and even our enemies. This isn’t the time to quarrel over the price of tea, but wrestle with the cost of Souls. Lives are in the balance! This world is dying and its burning up as a match in a papermill.
I’m tired of this world and soon I’ll be gone. What I leave behind will be a testimony of how I lived. I’m not talking riches of this world or status as a high-ranking politician, but the riches of TRUTH and status of our KING Who resides on the throne in paradise! I try and teach my kids to love and stand up for truth, no matter how vilified they are for it. I try and teach them that the target is always the biggest on the person who is doing what is right in The Lord’s eyes. Run the race. Keep the faith. And finish strong, even if your strongest is a crawl.
I pray that we all have this mindset. We, as Christians, need to Stand Out and be BOLD in our faith, for our Savior! Let us be dangerous, but also let us forgive as we have been forgiven. Lives depend on it. It’s ok if we feel unworthy; we ARE unworthy, BUT GOD makes us worthy by His Son’s Blood. We can’t earn our way to Heaven; it’s a gift, but we can work as if we need to earn it. The good news is, we’ll all fall short, the bad news is, some will never come to the throne and repent. Let’s pray today for those who haven’t repented and have been too prideful to address their unworthiness. Pray for this nation, its people, its government and its future. We need God now more than ever before. We need Revival.