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When I get sick I resist going to the doctor at all costs. At most, I’ll try to catch a few extra hours of sleep on the front-end or back-end of my day, but typically, I just push through.

A few years ago I was more sick than I could ever remember. When it was all said and done, I was laid up for about six days. On day one (a Monday), I left work early thinking by the next day I would be back to my normal self. On day two (Tuesday), I came into work late still trying to tough it out. I spent the first two hours of my day trying to get some things done while lying on the couch in my office. Eventually, my co-workers convinced me to go home and not come back until I was fully better.

By day three (Wednesday), my wife had rightly lost all compassion towards me saying I was a fool for not scheduling an appointment to see a doctor.

I hate going to the doctor. I hate the thought of wasting a day making an appointment and sitting in a waiting room when I could be getting stuff done. I hate admitting that I can’t muster through on my own. And I hate the thought of identifying with the sick. Admitting I was sick would be admitting defeat.

At the core of it, I tend to live with the belief that it’s not okay to not be okay. I’m not sure where I developed this belief. And while I don’t intellectually believe it’s true, practically, I live as though it is.

I’m not the only one who thinks this way. As a pastor, I find many people in the church believe the same thing. Maybe not with regards to our physical well-being, but definitely with regard to our spiritual well-being.

But Jesus has a different belief. He believes that it’s okay not to be okay. He’s quick to say in Luke’s gospel that he’s not interested in spending time with people who have it all together (Luke 5:31-32). People who never struggle. People whose lives are in tip-top shape.

He actually says he’s come to spend time with the spiritually sick and needy. Those whose lives are a mess. Those who can’t clean up their act or pick themselves up by their own bootstraps.

There is an old hymn that speaks to this very idea. The song goes:

Come ye sinners, poor and needy
Weak and wounded, sick and sore
Jesus ready stands to save you
Full of pity, love, and power

My favorite line in the song is:

If you wait until you’re better
You will never come at all

With Jesus, it’s okay not to be okay, because he’s the one who can make you well. Jesus isn’t okay with us staying not okay forever, but he’s always willing to meet us where we are, no matter how bad it is.

However, you have to take the first step. When I was laid up in bed for six days, I had to be the one to make the phone call to schedule an appointment with the doctor. I had to take the initiative and admit that I needed help. It was only when I did that I was able to turn the corner and get well.

So, don’t wait to come to Jesus until you’re better, because without him you can’t get better. With Jesus, it’s okay not to be okay. He’s ready to receive you just the way you are.

* Photo Credit: keeperofthehome.org

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Yesterday, I posted a piece called “The world doesn’t need a savior.” It began with me talking about my childhood love of Superman. However, I did not intend to post it.

Truth be told, I’m not even sure how it was posted. I may have accidentally hit the “Post” button instead of the “Save” button. I really don’t know. I made the realization when a few people started to comment on it.

I didn’t mean to post it because, one, it’s not done. It’s maybe only three-fourths done. Two, I’m still working on what the main point of the post will be. And three, I’m not even sure if I like the current title. So for now, I’ve taken it down.

My original intention was to post it in early February. (I try to work ahead if I can.) Any way, be looking for it again in a few weeks in a more complete form.

Thanks to all of you for following, read, and engaging. I hope you find my work to be helpful and encouraging.

Grace and Peace,
Bryan

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I’m not sure if anyone has wondered this about my blog as we’ve moved through the second half of 2016, but I sure have. It’s been about six months since I’ve done any blogging and I’ve had to wrestle through a lot of questions. Questions like:

Do I have the capacity to keep up with this blog in my new role?
Have I let too much time go by and lost the interest of my readers and subscribers?
Do I still have the passion and drive to sustain this blog?

Truth be told, I wasn’t planning on taking a six-month break. As transitions go, moving to Milwaukee hasn’t been overly challenging or difficult, it’s actually gone really well, but it has been all consuming. And for a while I really wrestled with whether or not to keep up with my blog.

In the end, writing and blogging has become something that I dearly love and can’t foresee letting it go. Therefore, one of my hopes for the new year is to continue to write, post, and discuss with readers.

I still have a lot to work out, things like frequency, focus, rhythms, etc… But I’m eager to get back at it. Be looking for more from me in 2017.

I hope that as your year comes to an end, you are experiencing joy and peace this Christmas season.

Grace & Peace,
Bryan

 

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