The Benson clan loves to eat Chinese food. It’s pretty cheap, so we can eat our fill for not too much money. I can remember once after we finished a meal at a Chinese restaurant, one of our sons opened his fortune cookie to find it said, “Life isn’t a struggle, it’s a wiggle”. We all kind of liked that philosophy.
We still do.
Life is sometimes hard. This is no real revelation. Issues come up. Bills come due. Relationships hit a wall. Illness strikes. Disappointments come. If you live longer than a minute or two, you will face trials. Right off the bat we are shoved through an opening a fraction of our size, born cold, wet, and could someone please turn off those lights?!
Jesus promised us trials. “In this life you will have trouble”. That’s what he said. He didn’t sugar coat it. He just laid it out there. Matter of fact. No hemming, no hawing.
Jesus wanted everyone clear on this thing. Just because we decide to follow him, doesn’t mean our lives will be all chocolate covered bacon all the time. We don’t have to go looking for trouble. Trouble will surely find us.
The great thing about Jesus is that he is a rescuer. He said we will have trouble in this world, but then he eases our panic by saying we shouldn’t worry. He said, “I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) Nothing is too big, too hard, to hurtful, or painful for Jesus to overcome. No matter what it is, if we are able to lay it at his feet, he can take it.
Jesus could have been our Savior without coming to earth and living the life we live. God could have chosen a different path for him. He could have just fast forwarded to the part where he defeated death and the grave without having to live a human existence for thirty three years. It could have still been magnificent with light sabers, flashes of lightening, and an epic sound track.
But then we would not have a Savior who knows our pain, understands our disappointments and heart break. He would not have experienced rejection, betrayal, loss or humiliation. He would have still loved us enough, but he would not feel the same empathy for us. He would not be able to stand at the right hand of the Father and so easily intercede on our behalf as we go through life with all of its inherent trials.
Instead, we can put our faith in a Savior who knows firsthand our issues and trials. When we cry out, he immediately identifies with our problems and situations. And not only that, he knows the way through to the other side of our issue. How? Because he has been there. I always tell the young leaders in my care that it’s difficult to take someone somewhere you have not been. I am much more comfortable following someone to a new place if I know for sure that they know the way. I can rest easier that I will get where I need to be because I am following someone who knows.
No matter what you face, if you are following Jesus, you are following someone who knows. You don’t have to worry. He knows the way through. We still face things, but they do not slay us in the same manner they once did if we are following Jesus closely enough. When you begin to trust Jesus at this level, then life really can cease being a struggle and begin to be a wiggle. And who can’t handle a wiggle?