Everything You Ever Did
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We all know the spiel. We hear it on countless YouTube ads we’re desperately waiting to skip. The words scroll past our phone as we scan the internet. Lately these kinds of messages have found their footing in the world of social media. The magical elixir of our pains and aches seem more believable when it comes from a “normal” person on Instagram than a fancy actor in an advertisement.
MLM distributors, life coaches, and fitness gurus constantly attempt to form a connection to the problems we battle, because they have experienced it too!
I’ve dealt with my own share of chronic ailments through the years, and the hope of these offers remains so enticing. I’ve scrolled through Amazon reviews on another supplement, just hoping to see someone share the same symptoms I have. I dream there might be hope that this product could cure me.
At times I have found myself nodding my head. Yes! Yes, I do feel that way! Yes, that’s happened to me!
Why do we get so excited when we find that connection? Why are we drawn to things like personality tests that expose our weaknesses and our propensities? I’m not sure it’s just because we want someone to commiserate with (though, there is great value in having support, don’t get me wrong!). But I think mostly we gravitate to these connections, because we hope that if the person intimately understands our problem, that means they just might have the solution.
And sometimes they do. At times we might sit before a doctor or a counselor, and hear them repeat back our experiences. They shed light on the truth of what is going on, whether in our bodies or our minds, and we grasp at hope. Perhaps there is help.
In our broken world, that’s what we yearn for after all. Romans reminds us the whole world is subject to futility, and it groans to be free of the curse that bears upon it (Rom. 8:20-22). It waits for a solution for the million and one ways it’s broken.
Our suffering is vast and different. The myriad of ways your body is broken and doesn’t work properly is different from the trials I face each day. The specific sins you battle with each day aren’t the same as mine. While each of us search for salves in this world, I’m reminded of the words of another woman long ago, who discovered someone who intimately understood all of her problems.
We find her story in John chapter four. She was an outcast, a Samaritan woman, with a painful and sordid history. When going to draw water at the well, she met with a Jewish stranger, and entered into a lengthy conversation with him. This stranger knew who she was, and knew her past. He revealed to her that salvation and life were found in him.
Yet what I love is that when this woman leaves Jesus and runs to the people of her town, she doesn’t rush to explain everything he told her. Instead, she exclaims, “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?”(John 4:29).
What struck this woman is that Christ knew her. He intimately knew every one of her problems. And if he knew all she had ever done, perhaps he knew the solution. Perhaps he was the solution. Of course, he was, and he is for us as well.
What are your symptoms? What ailments surround you? Whether they are from the curse of sin in the world, or the curse of sin in your own heart- Christ knows them all. He’s acquainted with each, and because he does, he has the ultimate solution.
No, he won’t necessarily fix your aching back today, or cure your chronic stomach pain. He won’t eradicate all hints of pride tomorrow, but he offers us the solution to the curse of sin that fills our lives and hearts. He grants forgiveness for our sin and communion with himself. He offers life that lasts in the midst of all our pain. He gives us himself.
And he is greater than any pill, lifestyle, or lifehack, for what he offers lasts. It’s not a band aid. As the Samaritan woman learned that day, the living water that comes from him won’t ever dry up (John 4:13-14). One day he’ll right all things in this world, and we’ll dwell once again with the God who knows all we have ever done, and loves and cares for us anyway. Because he is our Christ, our Savior, and the solution we all desperately long for.
- Yes, I made this up
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