I am not a fabrication, a figment of the imagination, or a fable. I am real—and I am what you need. I can give you comfort in place of anxiety, faith in place of fear, rest in place of struggle, peace in place of worry, happiness in place of sadness, and answers to your questions. I can be your strength, your help in time of need, your friend and companion. That doesn’t mean you will never have another problem or challenge in life, but I can help you with life’s problems.
The other day, I found myself sitting in a restaurant alone, as my friend was running late. As I waited, I decided to jot down some thoughts about what Jesus means to me and what I love most about Him. This is what I came up with:
One of my favorite movies is the 1967 classic Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner. The movie was released at a very sensitive period in American history when race relations were highly volatile. It went on to become a major hit and acted as a great agent for social change.
My family and I once drove up to the top of Pikes Peak, the highest summit in the Rocky Mountains. Around 14,000 feet above sea level, we took in the breathtaking views of winding mountaintop lakes, rock formations, forests, and soaring mountains on all sides. The whole scene has been etched into our family’s collective memory, to be shared over and over.
My wife and I were attending a funeral in the USA. We’d rented a car and were out running errands. Personally, I wanted to find a watch repair shop where I could purchase a new battery and get it installed in my old wristwatch. In the first two commercial centers we had visited, we asked around, but there was no one that we spoke with who knew where we might find one. A Google search was also unsuccessful, and I reluctantly gave up on that errand.
The Land of Beginning Again
I wish there were some wonderful place
Called “The Land of Beginning Again,”
Where all our mistakes
And all our heartaches
And all our poor selfish greed,
Could be dropped
Like a shabby old coat at the door
And never put on again.
Anything that we want to do well at in life requires effort, including growing in Christlikeness. It takes work to consciously and deliberately develop godly beliefs, habits, attitudes, thinking, and behavior. It also calls for intentionally letting go of wrong beliefs, harmful habits, ungodly attitudes, erroneous thinking, and bad behavior.
I have always been a dog person. I grew up with dogs, and even later in life when my wife and I served as missionaries, we felt a dog was a necessary addition to our household. So we got ourselves a puppy and a collar.
Not just any collar, but the best one we could find. In fact, when I would take him on walks in the morning or explore the fields together at dusk, with his stainless steel collar complete with a gold-colored name tag, he often seemed better dressed than I was.
I know you, I see you, and I care about you. I care about each of your heartbreaks. I care about how you feel. I care about what you think. I care about the difficulties and hardships that you face. I care about your children. I care about your afflictions. I care about your struggles with finances. I care about your housing situation and your material needs. I care about your children’s needs and the repairs that are coming due. I care about your spiritual struggles.
My daughter Kristen is a celebrity. Has been since birth. My wife and I follow her every move and document her moods, faces, and actions. We talk about her a lot and share stories about her funny habits or latest tastes. We give her our support and care, and do our best to protect her from harm. She has all our attention, even in the middle of the night, and we get up eager to see what she’ll do in the new day. Her laugh always makes us smile, and her tears spur us to remedy situations. To us, she’s the best.