By: Staci Stallings
There is a very popular Christian song that’s been around a few years now. It’s called, “I Can Only Imagine.” I love that song.
There is, however, a flip side to that song that I’m not sure many Christians think about too often. I think we get comfortable with our faith. We even take it for granted. We have it, and well, we don’t really do much with it, but we’re glad it’s there.
I’m not sure why exactly but I’ve had several “I Can’t Imagine” moments in the last year. I would describe them this way:
Something happens that’s beyond my control, something that I don’t know how I’ll ever make it through it, something that is either frightening or simply overwhelming, and I’m left trying to figure out what to do, how to do it, and when to do it. In short, on my own, I’d be toast!
That’s when, sometimes, I think about what life would be like without Jesus in my life, without the Holy Spirit to guide me, without knowing God as my Best Friend. How do you get through times that strike at the core of who you are? That take the knees right out from under you? That rip apart the fabric of your life–or even threaten to?
The wildfire is a good example. I so remember standing in our living room with our kids with us, not knowing if the house would still be there when we got back. The thing that gave me peace (yes, the peace that surpasses all understanding) was that, even though I wasn’t in control, God was and is, and one way or another, He would get us through that.
I watch the devastation of the recent tornadoes, and I think, if you didn’t have God in your life, where would you go for hope and healing? How could you stand there over this pile of ruble that you thought was the point of life and walk away and go on? If you didn’t have God and believe that good things can come from even horrible things, how do you cognitively deal with that? How do you deal with a life devoid of hope?
And it doesn’t even have to be a huge tragedy even. Take my uncle’s recent passing. Where do you go with the grief when someone you love dies? Where do you find comfort? Where do you find peace if you believe they are simply gone, and you have no hope of ever seeing them again? How does your spirit deal with that? How do you deal with that?
Where does the anger go? The grief? The hopelessness?
If you look around our world, I would say one of our biggest problems in society is the lack or loss of hope. When you lose hope, when right now, right here is all that matters, what holds you back from simply destroying, taking, robbing, pillaging everything in your path? Hopelessness is truly the beginning of complete and utter destruction of self and the world.
And only God can give us hope. For without God, the meaning in life is random, shifting, and ultimately temporary.
I truly can’t imagine living like that. Maybe that’s one reason I try to reach out–especially to young people–to give them a foundation of God, to teach them that God’s not interested in their awards, He’s interested in their hearts. Because truthfully, our accomplishments in this world are very temporary, but our hearts, especially when they are turned to God, go on forever. God doesn’t look at the outside, He looks at the heart… for a reason.
I don’t know how we reach so many hurting, lost people with the message of God and His message of hope. I do know, without a doubt, it is our only chance to gain peace and right back in our society.
Without God, I can’t imagine… and I don’t even want to try.