I don't think there has ever been a time in my life that has spoken more clearly of the importance of having a relationship with Christ.
My life has been so unbelievably sporadic with the many changes and transitions that have taken place. I've changed majors, schools, homes, friends, churches, and communities. I've distanced myself from all that I once knew and held close by much more than just miles. I know without a doubt that if I were to undertake this transitionary period of my life on my own, I would not be able to do it. No matter how strong I might be, or how well I keep things together, I would never be able to handle this on my own.
I feel like I have written about this topic so much over the past year but I know my inability to understand the peace my Lord and Savior provides is largely responsible.
Those of you that are reading this that do not claim to be a follower of Christ simply cannot understand what I mean when I speak of total peace. You may feel that when there is some aspect of control amongst complete chaos you have discovered the line of stability (peace) but that is simply not the case. This is by no means an assumption that non-Christians cannot experience a sense of peace or bliss, but I find it hard to believe there is much peace apart from a relationship with Christ. While I cannot fully attest to this lack of peace, I can speak on when I choose to go my own way, opposite of God's direction for my life.
When the Christian begins to stray from God's designated will and path there is a very obvious removal of peace. This reality is most often attributed to the presence of sin in the believers life. Sin is that which separates us from God and His presence. Sin is anything and everything that defies God's law. When sin persists and penetrates the believers life, the distance between the man and God grows, ultimately leaving the man with a sense of detachment from the God he once felt so close to.
I know that when I do sin, there is an immediate sense of brokenness often followed by a feeling of upheaval. It feels like the world has been turned upside-down simply because in essence, that is what takes place. When an individual repents of their sins and is reborn in a relationship with Christ believing that He is Lord and Savior, the individual is made into a new creation. There is no trace of the past. No offenses. No black marks on our permanent records. We are a spotless slate, cleaned solely by the shed blood of Christ on the cross. The word "upheaval" I used previously adequately displays this sudden change. Sin has the ability to completely change anyone. Its false-promise of pleasure, satisfaction, immediate gratification, and fullness deceive even the strongest of believers into thinking Christ is not the true satisfaction of our hungry and thirsty souls. Sin invites the idea of Christ being second to that which we will find more enjoyable at the time. It does not take into account the truth that Jesus provides eternal satisfaction, while sin can barely handle the provision of the temporary.
Throughout my relationship with Christ, I have often found that when I try to take control of my life, control seems to grow increasingly difficult to manage. It becomes so burdensome to try and keep hold of the reins that I find myself losing even more peace and gaining a larger amount of distress. This distress leads to a lack of trust in my Lord which brings many of its own problems.
While a relationship with Christ does not guarantee a successful, easy, or painless life, it does promise a life filled with purpose and ultimate satisfaction. I have never been disappointed in claiming to be a Christ-follower, no matter the ridicule I may experience or the scoffing that may occur. While many of the people I meet are not hostile to the faith I profess, they do not understand why I claim to believe in a man that lived and died over 2000 years ago. An individual that was called a "righteous man, educated teacher, and wise prophet" but never Lord, let alone God Himself.
But that is Who Jesus was, is, and will always be. Jesus is God Himself in the flesh, humbled to humanity as God's way out for mankind. An escape from the very depths of the punishment reserved for those that sin against God. Jesus came to earth, and it doesn't really matter when he came, but he came to earth as the One that would save us from the reality that is our condemnation.
Truth is offensive to those that do not want to hear it but I cannot simply allow myself to write any longer unless I tell those that do not know the Lord in personal relationship of the seriousness with which I write. Life is far too short to not be spent alongside Christ and I do not want anyone to have to taste eternal suffering because they were not presented with this truth personally. When it all comes down to it, this life means absolutely nothing without Christ. We can try and find worth and value in the things of this world, but it will never be enough. People will let us down. Things will let us down. We ourselves will let us down. The only man that will not let you down is Christ Himself.