This month, our meditation has been excerpted from the book entitled, Bound to Be Free compiled by Jan Pit. In the following short quotation from Horacio Herrera (from Cuba. Mr. Herrera writes using a pseudonym because of his leading role in the Cuban church), there is fodder for reflection and perhaps application:
These are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name. (John 20:31)
The Gospel of John offers great encouragement to us, not only in times of prosperity but also in times of hardship and trial.
To the disoriented, thirsty Samaritan woman He offers water that will quench her thirst (John 4).
To the spiritually hungry He gives the bread of life (John 6).
To the ones that walk in darkness without any sense of destination He provides the light of the world (John 8).
To the defenseless who suffer from the wolf and the lion He assures that He is the good shepherd (John 10).
To the ones that see no way out He says that He is the door to freedom (John 10).
To the ones that have lost the meaning of life He says: 'I am the way, the truth and the life' (John 14).
To the ones that are afraid of death He says: 'I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes on me will live, even though he dies' (John 11).
The 'I AM' comes to us today, to do just that for us.
A moment of introspection: In his reflection, Mr. Herrera identifies his audience and, comfortingly, we find it is--us. Comfortingly, because we understand the inherent encouragement of both his words, and the Word of God. Merriam Webster defines "disoriented" as characterized by loss of relationship or position, or caused to lose one's sense of identity. How often have we forgotten our unique relationship with the Lord--as we've become distracted by the world and its allurements? Spiritual hunger and thirst often waxes and wanes, to our chagrin and embarrassment--as our passion for God and His Holy Bible alternately flames and sputters. In what way do we walk in darkness? Perhaps wandering through our work day or family life without the guidance of Scripture and its Wisdom from above? The Psalmist rewarded us with his insight: Psalm 119:11 - "I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you." For a Christian, a day bereft of God's guiding light in our conscious moments is a day spent in at least partial darkness without the resources needed to keep one from sinning and thereby separating us from God's presence.
Again, Mr. Herrera describes us--defenseless. We know our inability to defend ourselves. In the book of James, (James 4:7), God's Word reminds us to "Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." Without God and His protection, we are as defenseless as non-believers--incapable of resisting the devil. But with the power of God in His Word, we have been given the weapons we need, in order to be strong in repelling the devil and his tools of seduction and temptation, distraction and discouragement, etc. What is our spiritual armor as provided in God's Word? Let's use it! Christ has described Himself as the Door, when we are despondent, depressed, gloomily overtaken with foreboding. When we see no way out, remember whose we are, and recall Christ's self-description in John 10:9. He is the Door to freedom from the world and its debasing nature. When we lose our Christian perspective, when we lose focus on Christ and the upward call, what happens? The things of the world look bright and attractive, and it is God's glory and grace which start to dim. Let's reverse that trend:
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His Glory and Grace.
Our faith matters, to a greater or lesser degree. As Christians, in times of prosperity or in times of hardship and trial, we have a faith or a belief in One we call "Lord" and "Savior"; through our belief, we may have life in His name. And that life can be life indeed! The 'I AM' comes to us today, to do these things just for us. What an encouragement!