All of us, believers and non-believers alike, experience pressure from all angles. When we serve one another instead of take from one another, when we give instead of get, we experience something profound. We begin being the witnesses of suffering and very difficult pressure all around us. Life is straight-up difficult and at times very crushing and defeating, discouraging, weighty, seemingly insurmountable. Job (in Job chapter 6) speaks of even wanting to be crushed by God, wanting God to find pleasure in bringing Job’s life to an end.
Remember in Isaiah 53 that it was the will of the LORD to crush Jesus! It was His intention and plan to ruin sin in the believer’s life by crushing our incarnate God-Man, Jesus Christ. The wrath of God was poured onto the Person of Jesus Christ that we might be lifted up from our depression and desiring life here to come to a close so fast and heavy. We can actually experience HOPE both for this life and especially for the life to come with our God and Savior! We can rest in the sufficiency of Jesus Christ, rest in His goodness and perfect life and perfect death. As we meditate on what Christ did for us, our lives here become about enjoying this reality ourselves and sharing our hope with those who seem to not have the same hope for themselves.
As we walk each other and others through the reality of Jesus Christ’s sufficiency, we experience something miraculous, changed lives! It’s one thing to see your own life changed by the Cross, changed by the true story of Christ’s death for you, but when you share this hope with me, I’m affected! And when we go and share this good news with our actual neighbors, their lives are changed too! God’s Holy Spirit is so huge in all of this. If it was just us trying to argue the logic of this, it would get to be old and worn out sounding… like singing “Jesus Loves Me, This I Know” hundreds of times in a monotone voice for 20 years… That would officially get boring kind of quickly. But, when we stir each other up to love and good works in each community, we come to find Christ as all-satisfying as He assures us that He is! We come to see the realities of REDEMPTION down on this ground we call Earth. Heaven’s realities become Earth’s – Your Kingdom come, Lord, in Tuolumne County as it is in Heaven.
What does this look like for you this week? I have some friends who don’t let themselves consider any of their neighbors actual friends until they have had them over for dinner.
Try that out! Walk to all the neighbors’ doors around your house and when you find one of them home, ask them to come over for something refreshing the next night they are available. Tell them you’re wanting to get to know your neighbors better and you’re excited to spend time just hanging out. That terminology works in California. We’re pretty keen on the whole hanging out gig.
Enjoy your week, friends!
P.S. Let me know by email at firstname.lastname@example.org what you think of Carrie and me posting about marriage once a week. I am thinking of a few different topics to post on each week: Neighboring, Marriage, Mobilizing the Local Church, Inter-Generational Friendships, Parenting, Grandparenting, Mentoring, Being a Mentee, etc…