I recently had a friend make that statement to me. To say that I was taken aback would be an understatement! On any given day, this friend can run circles around me. She is married with two children, a dog and lives in a lovely home. If you can imagine a Norman Rockwell picture perfect family, there you will see my friend and her family.
I was intrigued by her comment so I pressed for a little more information. She finally said, “I just feel like something is missing.” Typically when someone says something is missing from their lives, I think Jesus. So I asked, “How’s your spiritual life?” This is when she gave me the look followed by, “You know we attend church.” As I stepped further into this quicksand, I once again responded, “How is your spiritual life?”
For those of you that know me, you know I can tell you where to find the best sale on anything and will offer you a coupon. But, with something as important as where those that I love will spend eternity, I become kind of a wimp. After all, nothing clears a room quicker than talking about politics or Jesus. A few years ago our Pastor did a series called Living on the Jesus Mission. Living on mission includes spending time in the Word, connecting with others and sharing your story. Not in a pushy way, but hey, when you have an opening like the one my friend just presented, you step through it.
After several long minutes she stated, “I’m a good person. I don’t curse, steal, cheat on my husband or lie. So I would say that my spiritual life is just fine.” “Yep,” I replied. “You are all those things. So what do you think is missing?” Her response, “I’m just not happy.” Okay, so how do I get off this roller coaster, I wonder. Finally, I shared some of my story with her. Keep in mind this is a friend of over twenty years so we know each other pretty well, considering people really only know the side of you that you want them to see. You truly have to trust someone completely to show them all of your warts and bruises. On this day, I shared with her my frustrations, disappointments, fears, failures and insecurities. Talking about being unplugged! After listening to me she finally said, “I never knew that!” How could she have known? Again, we only share with others those things that we are comfortable with sharing. We want the world at large to see us as these wonderful, almost perfect human beings living in our dream homes with few cares in the world.
Then I finally said the difference for me happened when I stopped being just a good person and started living on Jesus mission. Not just reading my Bible as something to check off my to-do- list but, reading for understanding. Charles and I now have our Bible time together and then we have a discussion about what we read. This is one of the best parts of my day. There is no magic pill for happiness. We all have jobs (some we enjoy more than others), we have families, some with older children and some with younger children and some of us have elderly parents. Life can become a haze of moving from this to that on automatic pilot. The trick, I think, is having Jesus as the center of our lives. For me it helps to keep me focused and allows me to have a peace that only comes from knowing Him.
I suggested the following verses for her to read all of which come from New King James Bible (NKJ):
Rev. 3:20 “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”
John 10:2 But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.
John 10:11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
Psalms 23:1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
Luke 24:36 And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto
them, Peace be unto you.
Romans 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord JesusChrist:
Wishing all my readers the peace that only comes from knowing Jesus.