Cling to Jesus

It is so easy to let "things" come between us and Jesus. Sometimes, without even realizing we are doing it, we put life's stuff, hobbies, even our families, on a platform with Jesus behind them. I know when this is happening in my own life. I can feel it. While I pursue that "thing" as if it is most important at the moment, I can hear my Savior whispering..

"Come back, Shannon."

My God is a jealous God. He isn't jealous though in the sense that we deal with jealousy. He is jealous in a righteous, holy, passionate kind of way. His passion for me and you burns so deep and bright that he wants absolutely nothing coming between him and us. Why? Well, I know in my own life that any time I let something get in front of him or push him out of the way darkness starts creeping in on me and I start seeing what is in me that is not of God. It's so simple yet hard to wrap my brain around. When I am holding tight to Jesus, light illuminates my life. It just spills out of me. But when I let go, even with just one arm, and start reaching for other things...the light starts to lessen.

I cannot cling to Jesus and reach for other things at the same time.

So, the question now becomes what am I holding on too aside from Jesus? The enemy is clever, friends. He knows how to come as an angel of light. He will whisper things like,

"Your family is the most important thing in your life."

"You are just hurting right now, it's not your fault."

He will disguise himself as a friend instead of foe. I see this in my own life so often. Thankfully, Jesus is teaching me how to recognize his "clever lies" and defeat them. Yes, my family is important, but they will never be more important than Jesus. Never, ever. Yes, things have happened that hurt me and were not my fault, but I can't cling to those past hurts and past pains...and still cling to Jesus.

The definition of cling is, "to attach one's self." I cannot be attached to more than one thing at a time. If I want to cling to Jesus, to attach myself to him, then everything else has to be behind me, while I hold tight to him.

How do I do it, though?

How do I love my family while clinging only to Jesus? How do I heal from the pain of my past that is buried deep down, while clinging only to Jesus.

Surrender.

I am constantly trying to figure it out. I am a thinker, I analyze, I plan...I really like to plan. I am learning that clinging to Jesus means walking through this life with arms open wide and hands outstretched. I still make plans, but I am constantly in communion with Jesus about my plans.

"Is this right, Lord?"

"Are you in this plan, Lord."

"If this plan fails, I will still trust in you, Jesus."

Surrendering my family to him means pointing my children to his cross. It means letting go of fear and letting them find their wings and fly. It means teaching my girls not to cling to me but to Jesus...as I do the same.

But it's so hard...

It is hard to hold tight to Jesus while I see, hear, even feel everything around me. It's hard not to let go of him and grab onto those things...but it's not impossible. I will fight with fear sometimes, because I forget to trust him, I forget how reliable he is...and when I start letting go...I will hear his voice in my ear reminding me that he is enough.

He is enough.

What is it that you might be holding on to, clinging to, that you need to let go of? Are you afraid? You can't cling to fear and Jesus...he can deal with the fear, so grab hold of him. Does your family consume your life to the point you don't know what or who you are clinging to? Find rest in his arms...it's the only place of rest. He loves your family more than you..and he can carry the burden you try to carry for them. Do you cling to bitterness or anger? Oh, friend, I know this one is hard. It's so very hard to believe that if we drop our burden of unforgiveness that Jesus will be enough...

he is more than enough, friend. He is more than enough.

Jesus amazes me. He walked this Earth for thirty years before he began his ministry. He had a family, a job, a community...lots of things to cling too. But, he let it all go. He let it all go because He knew that clinging to his Father in Heaven would bring salvation to the world. He abandoned everything this life on Earth had to offer and he pursued the only thing that lasts. Oh, how I love him. I love him more than words can express in a silly little blog. I love him because every time I let go of him, he is there when I come back, and he holds tighter to me than I could ever hold to him. I love him because he is full of tenderness, grace and mercy...and I never have to fear when I rest in his arms, his presence.

I challenge you, just like I challenge myself, to let go of the things of this world that want to hold you back from him. Cling to Jesus, in his arms you will find rest, peace, safety...and the acceptance you crave. Cling to Jesus because everything else in this life will slip from your grasp at some point. Cling to Jesus so that when the world fails you...you will still rest in safety.

 "Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. I cling to you; your right hand upholds me." Psalms 63: 7-8

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