How great it is to be alive! I remember a time in my life when I prayed I would die in my sleep. Have you ever been there? In a place so dark you just didn’t see anyway to get out and somehow death sounded inviting.
It really seems unimaginable to me now how I had such a lack of hope. Tracey would ask me “Can you just say one thing positive?” she would sit patiently for a response, and I wouldn’t have one. She, on the other hand, seemed to be so easily amused and I just didn’t get it.
One day in my car it dawned on me, “I feel good today!” I may have even said it out loud to myself “I feel good today.” I was 30 or 31 years old and I couldn’t remember ever “feeling good.” Now of course feelings aren’t the goal here but it was quite the moment for me. I had spent years chasing after a feeling of contentment by way of drink and drugs and it always eluded me. Now I had finally found it.
True contentment is only found in relation to Christ. It isn’t until we find ourselves in union with him that true contentment is even possible. The Apostle Paul said, “I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.”
I’ve known friends that have been on the lookout for greener pastures only to find it to be an empty endeavor. No matter where one goes when they get there well, guess what? There they’ll be. The secret Paul talks about is “Christ in you the hope of glory.” When Christ has taken up residence within; the outer circumstances start to become less detrimental to our well being. Suddenly you realize while all of those outer things are in a constant state of change, Christ in you will never change. He is the same yesterday, today and forever.
So I suppose the lesson for me at this point in my life is learning to look to Christ in the inner man when everything in the outer is in upheaval. I used to run to substances for a cover. Of course these things whether they are drinking and drugs or sex, shopping, eating etc. are bring temporary relief but eventually the problems will have to be faced. Once our spirit is joined to His Spirit we learn to look more and more to him for comfort and relief. As long as we are looking for outer, temporal, fixes to our problems, rather than face them once and for all with the only real answer, we will continue to have frustration, anger and upheaval.
I see this too as being the difference between the two trees in the Garden. Because of being a descendant of Adam, who ate of the wrong tree, we too are now caught up in trying to live from that tree. That tree of course is the “Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil”, and it cannot supply us with the answers we need. Attempting to “do good” and “avoid evil” is not quite deep enough yet. This way of living is still of the wrong tree. While we think our deepest need is to do good and avoid evil God knows our real need is for life. He is always directing our attention toward the Tree of Life and yet we continue to struggle with doing good. He knows our problem will not be solved there but we have to come to see that as well. Jesus didn’t come here to make bad people good he came to make dead people live! Finally I discovered that, and now I can say, “It is great to be alive!”
Written by Louie