Are you spiritually dry? Are you down and out? Are you upset and confused and on edge? I know exactly how you feel. I go through those emotions and situations quite often, but I want out. I want to find a way to walk through this life and encounter those types of days with less and less frequency… but how? When we go through days like that, what causes them, and what do we need to do to get out?
Now, it may sound funny, but I’ve actually found an answer to this question right smack dab in the middle of the Christmas story. Hang with me and I’ll show you what I mean: You see, when I find myself frustrated, angry, fed up and spiritually empty, there is one thing I automatically know about myself. This thing that I know about me is simple. It may sound trite. It may seem too obvious to be for real, but I completely believe it’s true. Here goes: Sometimes, when we are in the midst of our deepest problems, we are confused and disoriented, which makes us think that the answer to our problems must also be very complicated, but the truth is, the answer is simple. See, more often than not, the reason we can’t find a way out of those tough times is that we have forgotten simple truths.
I was reading the account in Luke chapter 1 of where the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and made a prophecy/request. Would she be willing to bring the Messiah into the world? Would she willingly enter into a difficult situation for the sake of the Promised One? Now, as you know, Mary agreed. She said yes. The thing that really struck me in this account was the information that Gabriel gave her about Jesus, about God and about herself. She learned so many basic, simple and important things in just a few short sentences, and really, every time Mary struggled spiritually from that day on for the rest of her life, it was because she had forgotten those simple truths she heard that day.
But here’s the really cool thing: Those things that Mary learned about herself are also true of you and me right now… simple, basic and massively important truths that can be life-changing to such a degree that forgetting them could be catastrophic. So, let’s look at them. What did Mary learn that is also true of us and so important that we need to always remember?
- God loves me right now, just the way I am
- God has specific, and detailed plans for my life that are powerfully in motion
- The spiritual realm is not only real, it’s more real than this world
- I am an integral part of something huge and miraculous
- I get to be a part of the Messiah’s family - connected to the King of all
Those are simple things, but they are all completely true, and I know that for me - when I am down, depressed, frustrated, disappointed, insecure or feeling sorry for myself - that means there is an item or two on that list that I have forgotten. There is something that’s true of me that I don’t really believe. When I find myself there, I need to go back to the truth and hold onto it like my life depended on it…
Because, it does.