“Beware of hindering yourselves with any weight of earthly cares. Examine your hearts most closely, and purge out each besetting sin with a godly prayerful jealousy. Remember that blessed rule, ‘looking unto Jesus.’ Peter did run well for a time, when he left the ship to walk upon the sea to Jesus—but when he saw the waves and the storm he was afraid and began to sink. Thus many a one sets out courageously—but after a while corruptions rise high within, corruptions are strong without, the eye is drawn off Jesus, the devil gets an advantage—and the soul begins to sink. Oh, keep your eye steadily fixed on Christ, and you shall go through fire and water and they shall not hurt you.” ~JC Ryle
“So Jesus again said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the Door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. I am the Good Shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the Good Shepherd. I know My own and My own know Me, just as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to My voice. So there will be one flock, one Shepherd. For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of My own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from My Father.'”
~ Jesus, King of The Universe, in John 10
Oh beloved, it is true.
We are all looking for a fulfilling life. And the joy of this is that G_d has exactly the same idea. Our problem is that we often go looking for this life in all the wrong places. Because, it is not to be found in a place – it is to be found in a Person. Actually, it is not even “in” a Person. This fulfillment we are looking for, IS a Person.
Dr. Peter Kreeft says this so well: “It is so simple that it is like the center point of a circle. It is the whole circle. It contains in itself the whole gospel. The Catechism says: “The name ‘Jesus’ contains all: God and man and the whole economy of creation and salvation.” Into this name the Christian can pour all of his faith, with nothing whatsoever left over, for to be a Christian is to rest all of your faith on Christ, with nothing left over.”
But, once we realize this truth, we find it. We find that all of the fulfillment we were looking for, in all of the stupid things we used to do (and sometimes still do) were not carriers of the same. We found that, in fact, all of everything else we were doing were actually agents of the evil one, come to steal our joy – and to try and kill us in the process.
Can we see it?
Also, once we realize this truth, we find Him. We find that, though we thought He was far away, and though we thought He was stern and cool and distant – He is not. He, the very Person of Jesus, is (and has been) forever in a passionate pursuit of us. Finally, one day, we just got quiet enough to hear His Voice. And nothing has been the same ever since. He came into us so strongly that it killed us. And we have finally been truly alive from that moment forward.
We find that He is what we have been looking for all along. We find that everything else we have ever been involved in, up to this point, is actually a complete and total waste in comparison to finally just knowing someone, and not being afraid that we are going to be left alone – ever again.
So beloved, does any of this make any sense to you? If not, perhaps you have spent too much effort trying to find hope in your job or your family or your chemicals – or even in your Christianity. Because, none of these things (no matter how good they are) will ever fill you (or this fool of a writer) up. Stop for a moment. Stop, and listen. He is calling you with a voice so loving and real and powerful, that the sound of it alone will fill your heart beyond measure.
Tonight is your night. Time to listen for His voice. Time to look towards Who you hear.
Written by Makala Doulos: Makala Doulos is a child of G_d, a husband to his wife, a father to his children, and a teacher to his students. But mostly, he is a prisoner set free by Jesus. Love has invaded his life, crushed it, and made it new. Now, G_d’s Love is what constrains him to live in full surrender to the freedom The Father and Son and Holy Spirit have bought for us all. Grace and Peace to you all.
Daily Quote: Do you think that the man-loving God has given you so much so that you could use it only for your own benefit? No, but so that your abundance might supply the lack of others. – St. John Chrysostom
This Week’s Verse to Memorize:
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18