I’m Down On The Upside Now

I’d love to be able to tell you that, as a Christian, my life is perfect. I’d love to be able to say that I never feel stress, I never lose my temper, that I never mistreat anyone, and that the love of God is clearly evident in my life to everyone around me. But, none of those things are true all of the time.
The fact is that I am a human being — a soul trapped in flesh and bones and this body gets tired. It feels fear. It is forgetful. It longs for things that it shouldn’t have. When those factors converge in the wrong way, I sin, and I feel deep regret and often have to face uncomfortable consequences, for myself and others, as a result of my sin.
But, as a Christian, I know that the limitations I just mentioned do not define me. I am defined as a child of God who has accepted the undeserved favor and unconditional love of Jesus. My sins, while painful and with real consequences in this life, don’t stick. Their power to hold me down with shame is broken through confession to the One who has already told me that I am free.
As a Christian, my life is not perfect. But, the colors in my life are vibrant and rich, the upside is infinite, and the power of the dark has been rendered as merely a distraction that I know is just part of the temporary landscape of experience that I’m passing through en route to an eternity in which there will be no stress, fear, sadness, or pain.
This knowledge affords me peace that you cannot understand, but, only experience by accepting the good news of Jesus and his unconditional, grace and love for you.
It’s your call.
‘ “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”’
John 16:33

As I was writing this post, a line from the song “Dusty,” by Soundgarden (a favorite band of mine through my college years) started looping through my head. So, I did a search on YouTube and found this clip of them performing it a few years back. Chris Cornell’s introduction to the song and the story behind it extend a thread of hope that he just might have had that same ability to recognize eternal hope in the midst of pain even though, sometimes, as they ultimately and unfortunately did for him, circumstances converge to bring about devastating consequences. I never met the guy, but, I pray that the hope that he seemed to ride when he wrote this song was firmly planted through his final conscious night on earth, despite the circumstances. I thank God that we don’t have to be defined by our earth-bound limitations.

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