I’m at a camp in central PA taking a class in the Brethren in Christ pastor-credentialing process. I opted to stay in the $15/a night cabin instead of the $45/a night hotel-style room at the conference center in order to save some money. (I’m a back-packer who loves the outdoors, so I figured I could get my class-work and studying done wherever.)
Upon entering my cabin, I noticed a strange smell. It was pretty bad, but I thought that maybe all the cabins smelled that way. I opened the windows, set up my stuff, took a nap, and resolved to buy a nice scented candle to help deal with my situation. Later on the way to the store, my friend Ben and I ran into the camp director, and Ben insisted on asking him to check out the smell, ignoring all my protests that I was fine. Sure enough, there was large dead animal rotting under the cabin. The camp director insisted on upgrading me to the penthouse suite of anywhere I’ve ever retreated. Now I’m in a beautiful, cozy, modern place with more amenities than I have at home.
Allow me to draw a parallel to the spiritual life. Some of us are so committed to toughing it out in our struggle that that we’re more likely to live with the dead animal than ask for help. Our way of taking care of ourselves is decaying and smelly but we’re not sure it could change and we don’t want to bother anyone. We don’t trust God to take care of us because we don’t think God cares that much or has power to change things. Or God is busy taking care of other people who have bigger problems.
Talk about it. I’m not saying that Jesus offers a luxurious life that is free of struggle. But there could be some relief and beauty and rest for you that you have not imagined. Christus Victor is calling together a people that are free by his Spirit to move beyond the seemingly insatiable desires for money, power, achievement, safety, adventure, food, clothes, drugs, sex, family, relationships, or WHATEVER, and live in the abundance of his love. I think this is what Jesus means when he says “come to me, all you who are weary and burdened….because my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” God does care; your particular struggle is real and Jesus might surprise you. I invite you to find Him in our Circle of Hope.