Jesus is many things to many people—a conversation-starting tattoo, comforter in trouble, good luck charm, master of all plans, that “guy with the cross”, and everything in-between. Even the various Christian denominations and non-Christian religions can supply a twist on who Jesus is to them.
I’ve been the annoying kid in Sunday school who knew every answer, the gutsy teen who spoke at his own youth group, the exemplary college kid who everyone knew was a Christian, even been the gung-ho young adult who preached in churches and led his own mission trips. Now I’m 25, burnt out and derailed at a quarter life crisis, and wondering if I even know Jesus—any form of him.
Jesus has always been the answer for every problem I’ve run into—and you’ve probably felt the same. Not necessarily that I looked to him to be the solution right away, but others around me assured he was the remedy, like Robitussin is to a cough—you just need a particular dose and everything will be alright.
Life has brought a lot my way—axed friendships spiced with bitterness, rotting relationships soaked in emotional discord, wayward paths full of messy mistakes, unexplainable loss of identity and worth. Again, you’ve probably experienced some of those yourself, as well as other scenarios full of turmoil. But doesn’t it seem repetitive that Jesus is the cure-all?
I think that’s how a lot of Millennialls feel—Jesus has always been the answer, but with him life’s problems aren’t always fixed. That’s why it’s so easy to shove faith aside in moments of despair. Even with Jesus the pain isn’t lessened, the time frame for hurt doesn’t get cut in half, you still have to journey through it.
When life brings a punch, we feel the weight of emotions pressing us into darkness. It is in this place we wrestle with solutions. Our flesh longs for instant relief and wobbles between help from God and a pursuit of pleasure. At the root of us all we are searching for meaning—the “whys” of every happening. And it’s in the darkest moments people offer Jesus, and yet, our humanness screams for something else, something tangible.
As a 25 year Christian who has preached on the lows and helped many people through them, my darkest moments question God’s ability to heal. When friends and family drop words of hope and reassurance of Christ into my lap, I push them away, because Jesus has always been the answer, he is the answer I give to others, but when you’re the one at the bottom of the pit—Jesus doesn’t seem to hold the solution.
And yet, God calls us to him when:
- we need help (Psalm 46:1-3)
- we are weary or burdened (Matthew 11:28-29)
- we need power and strength (Isaiah 40: 29-31)
- we need peace (Proverbs 1:33)
- we need forgiveness (1 John 1:9)
- we are worried (Matthew 6:25-32)
- we need wisdom (James 1:5)
He’s promised to be there for everything.
I’m not sure what keeps us from believing his promises in moments of dangerous lowness. We can blame satan, but maybe it’s a lack of faith. Maybe it’s the struggle against flesh and spirit or our inability to see beyond what is happening right then and there. Whatever the reason, the toss-up of giving Jesus a chance is what splits those who continue a life for Christ or one without him.
I’ve been there, too, moments where I utter, “I’m giving up. I’m done. This is all a hoax and always has been.” Even so, I keep choosing Jesus, but I haven’t always been sure why.
I do know that we have to doubt before we can believe in anything. That’s how you develop trust. And in moments of doubt, Jesus has always followed through and his promises have always remained, I’ve just been the one who ignores them.
I also know that when the world seems like it’s ending, hope still exists, even if I don’t want to believe it. Even in our darkest moments—we all have a future. Finding the light again sucks, but the process of growth that occurs is unforgettable.
Furthermore, Jesus isn’t a magical elixir, he isn’t an instant fix for all your problems, and we can’t expect him to be.
Jesus is a companion. One who has faced every temptation and walked a journey full of highs and lows. He, unlike many others, is willing to go round and round with you through them, too.
You may not feel him, you may not want to believe that he can help, but he’s the only person I know that doesn’t shove you out of his life because of mistakes, apathy, uncertainty, or deficiency.
And that’s what keeps me coming back, whether I want to or not.