Jesus Saves

I’ve been pretty stressed lately. The weight of the world has been on my shoulders. So tonight I went out to chill in the grass. I felt like i needed to walk up to the cross, ’cause i hadn’t in a while, so I did. It was about the getting-there, not the arrival. So I walked slow.

I talked to God for a while, and He listened very patiently to all of my concerns. I mourned something I had needed to mourn, and tried very hard to shut down my brain from all the things it was busy worrying about. I forced myself to smile, thinking it would make me happy inside if I could hold it long enough.

The cross stood before me. It was dusk, so the back of the cross was darker than the sky it was silhouetted against. I walked past it and admired the paint job God had done on the sky tonight. Somebody had to do it, and I was the only one up there, so that made me the man for the job.

I started thinking about the cross I’d been called to carry. I started talking to God as I walked down the face of the mountain.

“Jesus, when You said I had to take up my cross and follow You, You didn’t mention that it’d be this heavy.”

“And didn’t You say Your yoke was easy and Your burden is light? Which is it?”

He answered. I was kinda surprised, to be honest, but I was too tired to be skeptical. It wasn’t audible, so if anybody had been around, they would’ve thought I was talking to myself.

It depends on how you carry it.

“What do You mean?’ I asked.

There’s an easy way and a hard way.

“And which way have I been carrying it?” I knew the answer before I asked the question.

The hard way.

“You said to learn from You. How do You do it?”

What’s your job, David?

“Well, I’ve been carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders….”

Who’s responsible for saving the world?

I thought for a minute. “Jesus.”

Who saves?

“Jesus saves.”

Does David save?

“No. David does not save. Jesus saves.”

I wrestled with that all the way down the mountain. I realized that Jesus had been saving people without my help for a long time. A very very very long time. Like thousands of years. And I realized that when I wasn’t here, Jesus saved people without me. And when I’m gone, He will continue to do so.

It’s like a little kid helping his dad build something. The paint gets messier, and the nails go in sideways, but the kid feels involved. And he is, but it’s messier. I think God’s okay with that. And I think that’s how it is with us as Christians. God invites us to help. And then I get all paranoid and perfectionistic about how I’ve gotta do everything just right, and I end up with the weight of the world on my shoulders, worrying about all those little things I absolutely have to do.

Pastor Mike talked about Mary and Martha today, and it reminded me of a sign I used to have that said “ONE THING” to remind me of what is really important (and all the things that seem important and aren’t.

I also realized that my name isn’t Hoshea (Savior), it’s Joshua (God saves). (Read Savior, Renamed, and you’ll understand). But lately I’ve been acting more like “David Saves” than “Jesus saves.” My job is to announce that Jesus is in the business of saving people. But lately I’ve been too busy trying to save everyone by myself. How will anyone believe me when I say that Jesus saves when I won’t even let Him save me?

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