Now if you're anything like me, you have the Aladdin song (sung by the Genie), in your head. And although the Genie captured our hearts, our dinner-time devotions wasn't devoted to Disney films - or their characters. Obviously it was centered around another friend that captured our hearts. The one that: was born surrounded by animals, performed miracles, and showed that grace, mercy and love have no boundaries when it comes to the Lord. And finally one that was mercilessly crucified, but willingly let his blood spill for our salvation. How can your heart not be captured by that? Easy question to ask. Tough concept to understand when it comes to non-believers. I'm sure, just like me, you encounter the doubters and it's not always easy.
I'm friends with non-believers. It's easy being friends with someone even if they don't believe because they can still be sweet, genuine people. It's the rotten people that I can't stand, but Jesus died (and suffered) for them as well. So, yes, the What Would Jesus Do?, is a brilliant reminder for all of us that truly wear, Christ's name on our hearts. I say "truly" because like in the song, "Ordinary Love," we sometimes write our beliefs with a magic marker only for them to be wiped away (by our choice) come a difficult circumstance where we try to be strong rather than admitting we're weak and we need God's strength to pick us up - remember the poem Footprints? Too many magic markers are used. I've seen too many people use too many excuses as to why they no longer go to church or no longer believe. It's amazing to me how people hear one thing, just ONE thing that they don't agree with and they use that as the reason for their departure from their faith.
I realize I'm a little all over the place hear, but I do that for two reasons. One is laziness - I'll work on that. And secondly, I'm just kind of letting my thoughts flow. I didn't start this blog with the notion to write perfectly revised and edited posts. I write what's on my heart - my heart's not perfect.
Back to the reason I'm writing this...The devotional entry reminded us the Jesus is our best friend. Always there to listen through the good, bad and ugly. Through the hills, valleys and sometimes even worse, the plateaus - the flat parts of our lives where we're not heading to a valley, but we're not pushing ourselves up a hill either. I teach my girls that that no matter what, Jesus is there for us and that it's important to recognize His grace and love no matter the circumstances of our lives.
I recently had a friend who confided in me about some tough decision in their life and although they were praying through it, I suggested perhaps changing the way they prayer (and I was talking to myself as well). Sometimes we get ourselves in a rut even when we're doing good things and we need to change things around a little. What I should have added that they begin their prayer with, "Jesus, thank you for loving me." To me that shows leaps and bounds of faith when you can thank the Lord for His love even when you feel chained in the mud.
Because he is the One who was born surrounded by dirt and preached to doubters and talked to promiscuous women (and even talked to children who were considered low on the totem pole) and then died for us, His love is immeasurable...but it's still there. And those doubters that I mentioned before, I know they felt that love. The best thing I can do is pray they recognize it, accept it, and hang on for the ride of their life (sorry for the cliche).
He wants our dreams to come to fruition. He wants us to feel joy even though sorrow and doubt are camping out in our every thought. The tough times will come. They're what makes us stronger. They're what makes us what to put on that shield so we don't have reasons to make up excuses as to why we don't believe or why we doubt or no longer what to profess He's our King and Savior.
We ain't never had a friend like Him! What other friend would put up with all the garbage we collect in our thoughts and are shameful actions? We don't have to rub a lamp. We just have to open His book.