My husband and I have a game we play when life becomes painful/difficult/stressful/______. It started with my mother a few years ago during a particularly dark season in my life. She and I were chatting one night, and I was physically shaking with grief–totally alone and unable to breathe through the sorrow that had gripped my chest.
When I could speak through the tears, I asked her the following question: “Who is Jesus?” She paused for a moment, thinking perhaps I was having a crisis of faith and hesitant to encourage that line of thinking. I quickly explained, “I can’t talk about the situation tonight. The only thing that will get me through this is to look at who Jesus is.”
My Mother, in her God-fearing, patient wisdom, immediately launched into a list of who Jesus is throughout the Scriptures. The more she spoke, the more peace flooded my heart, until I was able to add to the list, too. For the better part of an hour, we took turns reminding ourselves of His Lordship, His compassion, His beauty.
It did not magically make everything okay. I still struggled with grief for months; however, it gave me the strength to make it through that moment. We carved out a space in the pain so that I could breathe again.
I shared that night with JD at one point in our courtship, and in his typical tenderness, he didn’t say anything that would magnify or lessen the season but filed it in his mind. When we face a life hurdle now, over a year into our relationship, JD is the one quick to ask, “But who is Jesus in this?” Our list has never failed to bring peace to my soul.
Life is rarely perfect. Usually there’s some nagging issue that tugs at our joy–relationship struggles, sickness, physical limitations, a death, financial concerns, job pressures, school pressures–the list is endless. Often, it seems that just as soon as we “solve” one issue, another one crops up to take its place. Maybe it’s the Lord teaching us gratitude. Maybe it’s the enemy trying to steal our joy. Maybe it’s just our own, human propensity never to be satisfied.
Whatever your situation today, I would invite you to play our game, look squarely at your problem and ask, “But, who is Jesus?” Even better, I encourage you to memorize the Scriptures that support your list of who He is. The more He is exalted, the more everything else fades to lesser importance.You are– in brokenness and weariness, exquisite plunges into joy, sleep deprivation, peace-filled rest, melancholy, laughter, seasons of loss, seasons of expansion, life, birth, death, perfect, faith-filled worship, ashy, imperfect worship, in promotion, in humiliation, in discipline, in praise, –He who has the big picture, He who knows reality from fiction, He who sees the end from the beginning, He who holds the times and seasons, Perfect, beautiful, constant, faithful. The Bright Morning Star. The Prince of Peace. God with us — Emmanuel. The God who daily bears my burdens. A mighty fortress. A strong tower. A deliverer. My Great High Priest who understands my weaknesses. My Mediator with God. My Savior. My promised Bridegroom. My soon coming King. My righteousness. My healers. My provider. The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. The Lion of Judah who has prevailed on His enemies. The Word made flesh–God, wearing my frame. The perfect representation of the Father. He who has redeemed me and called me by my name. I AM.