I’m just going to throw this out there. A little story that may or may not resonate with you. — It also may or may not offend you, which I typically try to avoid at all costs… the “may offend” you part. If it does, my bad. — For once, I’m sharing it anyway.
—– So let’s just say there is this guy named Henry.
Henry is at the end of his rope. He’s miserable. He has hit rock bottom. He’s got ten thousand problems & the weight of the world on his shoulders. He’s just ready to give up on life & quit altogether. He’s been told he’s just the worst sort of failure. Poor Henry, he can’t get anything right.
He’s walking down the street, losing more hope with every step. He remembers all those Sunday school classes about Jesus & His mighty love. So he says, “Jesus, if you’re there, help me.”
So here comes Jesus., walking up from the other direction. (Lol, go ahead, picture it however you like. Maybe he’s in jeans & a t-shirt or a nice business suit. Shorts & flip flops? Ball cap anyone? — Maybe it’s a busy city street or a small town square? Either way, He meets up with good ole’ Henry.)
He introduces Himself & all that good stuff. Tells Henry He heard him loud & clear. & then He says this….
“Well ya know Henry, ya really wouldn’t be in this situation if you hadn’t done this, that, & the other. I’ve been paying attention. I saw that thing you did last month… & that really bad thing you did last Tuesday, you know the one. I also know about those things you do every single day. Shoot, just this morning I noticed some new things even I was shocked to see. You’re living a life of sin Henry. — Now I’m only saying all of this because I love you & if you continue down this path you are going to hell. Straight to hell. You will not pass go & you will not collect 200 dollars. Hell it is. It’s in the Bible. I know you’ve read it. I know you’ve seen it. This is not news to you. You made this mess Henry, I need you to see the error of your ways. — I’m here for you though. I love you. But I’m in the business of tough love. I will forgive you. You need to repent, turn back, never fall into this sort of sin again, or you will be in danger of failing to inherit the kingdom. It’s that simple.”
At this moment, the rest of Henry’s world shatters. Engulfed in despair, he tries to make sense of it all. Here he is, crying out for some compassion & some help, and this is what he gets. Reprimanded. All of his failures, the same ones causing him to feel hopeless & miserable, thrown in his face. With his last shred of hope, he calls on Jesus, and is met with the exact opposite of what he was searching for.
Henry begins to feel the hopelessness & misery weigh down upon him even heavier than before. With a grief-filled heart, that sought out comfort, peace, hope, & love…. he turns & walks back in the direction he came from. — He met Jesus… & when he did, Jesus made it all feel worthless. —–
(I don’t know about anyone else…. but this isn’t how I met Jesus. — He came to me with love. Love I had never known in all my life. Love that made despair & misery seem so very small. Life-changing love. — Not what poor Henry was greeted with.)
No, Henry didn’t meet Jesus… what he met was a Christian. — & when he did… He walked away from Jesus.