[Jesus said,] “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.” (Mt. 23:37)
A few years ago, the shocks went out on our family van. If you have ever had this happen to a vehicle you were driving, you know what it is like. There is no “give” left in the suspension and the vehicle bottoms out when it goes over minor bumps. Bad shocks become a bigger problem when you try to pull a trailer. The vehicle is unable to function normally and if you don’t fix the problem, more serious damage to your vehicle can result.
There is also a shock absorber in the human heart which serves to lift us up even when we go over bumps in life. Because of our broken human nature, we usually try to be our own personal shock absorber. However, this doesn’t work very well and that becomes obvious when we get shook up by a bump that we hit. Then we get anxious or afraid (with men, fear often shows itself as anger) because we know that our present suspension is failing us, and serious damage could soon result.
The solution? It would be easy to say, “Give up trying to hold up our own lives and let Jesus do it for us.” While that is true, a change at a deeper heart level is needed. We need to give up our understanding of what the good life looks like and embrace God’s definition of the good life. Jesus was referring to us when He said, “I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of” (John 10:10 MSG). God’s definition of the good life is life with Jesus, trusting in Him for all things in every moment of our lives. We were created to let Jesus carry us through life, so we need to give up trying to hold up our own lives.
How do we know that Jesus will carry us? Years ago, I heard a preacher on the radio describe a young boy’s experience during a prairie fire in the 1930’s. The fire came so close to the family farmhouse that the young boy could feel the heat through the glass of his bedroom window. The boy’s Dad and the hired man fought against the blaze with shovels and wet burlap bags. Thankfully there was a road between the fire and the farmyard and the fire did not cross the road.
The next morning, the young boy went for a walk to survey the damage. Seeing a charred lump in the middle of the road, he kicked it and six little yellow chicks scurried out from underneath the blackened mass. Seeing the fire, a mother hen gathered her chicks under her wings. They were saved, but she was consumed.
This is what Jesus has done for us. He allowed the punishment for our sin to be poured out on Him instead of us. He was consumed, but we were saved.
Resting in Jesus’ love for us, we do not need to be anxious or afraid about anything. Nothing, not even death will separate us from Jesus and His great love for us. With our trust in Jesus instead of ourselves, we live with a lightness of heart and a joyful spirit that is both rare and attractive in this broken and hurting world. Our attitude can give us opportunities to share with others the Good News that Jesus will carry us.
Dear Jesus, please help me to place my life in your hands and trust in You for all things all the time, especially when I hit a bump in life. Amen.