From Saturday to Sunday, I experienced one of those 24-hour periods of being ambushed by discouragement. I'm sure you've been there. It was definitely one of those "When it rains, it pours" kind of consecutive moments. Going to my Men's Group last night was an enormous shot of encouragement - which I knew it would be. I'm so thankful that I have this group of guys who are there for me, who are very well aware that I'm a flawed human being, and who tirelessly pray for me and with me. You can't replace that with something counterfeit. There's no store brand sorry substitute for biblical community. If you haven't found that, I'm praying that you don't stop searching until you find it. That is "church".
This morning, as I was coming home from the gym, the Lord laid something further on my heart. Out of nowhere, I was reminded of Jesus's very transparent, vulnerable, and humble words to his disciples as many of the masses were walking away and deserting him: "Are you going to leave me, too?"
Take a moment and think about that question. Does GOD ask that question?
Scripture clearly tells us (Hebrews 4:15) that Jesus experienced what we experience - he faced the temptations we face - he wrestled with anger, frustration, and suffering - he grieved and mourned and comforted. We have a Savior that understands! And while I BELIEVE this - I really, actually, fully believe that this is the case - often I don't live or act like I do. Because when I faced discouragement - when it was whispering in my ear, weighing on my back, and breathing down my neck - the first person I turned was not Jesus. Why is this?
The Son of Man - the Savior of the Universe - the Redeemer of all mankind turned to His disciples, and with loneliness and despair and hurt flooding his heart (and probably his voice) he asked them, "Are you going to walk out on me, too? Are you deserting me? Are you going to turn you backs and walk away?" Is there a more open window into the humanity of Jesus? Do I need anything further than this to fully expose to me that my Savior understands my hurt and my pain and my discouragement?
Does God ask this question? Well, when God the Son has "humbled himself - made himself nothing" - and "surrendered his rights as God" so that he could fully understand our struggles and our weakness - Yes. Absolutely, God asks this question. And so for me, knowing that my Savior lived with this exposed humility, and knowing that discouragement had to waiting to ambush him at every turn, I can turn to him. First. Before anyone else. He understands.
If you're facing discouragement, you can turn to Jesus.