Hello out there in whatever bubble of the world you are in.
My bubble is moving and with a move comes different stress factors. I feel bombarded by life at the moment and not sure what to do about it. People tell me that being a Christian makes me different, that the Holy Spirit is in me and gives me peace that others don’t have, but I don’t see it. I guess it is like what Paul talked about in his letter to the church body at Rome:
“For I do not understand what I am doing, because I do not practice what I want to do, but I do what I hate. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree with the law that it is good. So now I am no longer the one doing it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh. For the desire to do what is good is with me, but there is no ability to do it. For I do not do the good that I want to do, but I practice the evil that I do not want to do. Now if I do what I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but it is the sin that lives in me. So I discover this principle: when I want to do good, evil is with me. For in my inner self I joyfully agree with God’s law. But I see a different law in the parts of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and taking me prisoner to the law of sin in the parts of my body. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?”
Patience, please, to those who know the rest of the verse.
The fact of the matter is that nobody is perfect, nor can we be in a continual state of perfection. It will not happen while you or I are living in this dreadful world (or for an astronaut on the moon, Mars, etc…).
In John’s account of Jesus Christ’s ministry he writes that Jesus said, “A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come that they may have life and have it in abundance.” He goes on to expound on his role as the leader of those who follow him by using an analogy of the good shepherd and his sheep. The life that we can have in abundance is probably best describe by staying with that analogy and turning to Psalm 23, a familiar but true passage. That is the abundant life, not that we will not experience hardship, stress, pain, suffering, etc…, but that there is a Good Shepherd out there who desires to lead us and take care of us during those times.
Going back to the battle that is waging itself for the essence of who I am, what some would describe as my soul and others would describe as multiple personality disorder. Paul did not finish his statement to the Roman church with a hopeless question. He answers it with an imperative statement that makes you wonder if he wasn’t about to jump out of his chair as he wrote it (or if he used a scribe to write it, then maybe he was jumping up and down and trying to bang it into their heads through osmosis or something?). So who will rescue Paul from his body of death? Who will rescue Boris from not having the abundant life?
“I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with my mind I myself am a slave to the law of God, but with my flesh, to the law of sin.”
And that is why I feel like I do and glad that Paul wrote what he wrote so that I know I am not the only one feeling this way. I like what he says later on in the letter too, “Therefore, brothers (and sisters for that matter), by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.”
May my God the Lord Jesus Christ bless each of you today with the abundant life that the Good Shepherd desires you to live in.