Choosing Life

“Hello, how are you? I just had to write this letter to tell you how much I love you and care about you. I saw you yesterday as you were walking with your friends. I waited all day, hoping you would walk and talk with Me also. As evening drew near, I gave you a sunset to close your day and a cool breeze to rest you. Then I waited but you never came. Oh yes, it hurt Me, but I still love you because I Am your Friend. I saw you fall asleep last night and I longed to touch your brow, so I spilled moonlight upon your pillow and on your face. Again I waited, waiting for you to rush down so that we could talk. I have so many gifts for you. You awakened late this morning and rushed off for the day. My tears were in the rain. Today you looked so sad, so alone. It makes My heart ache because I understand. My friends let Me down and hurt Me many times, but I love you. I try to tell you in the quiet grass. I whisper in the leaves and trees and breathe it in the colour of the flowers. I shout it to you in the mountain streams and give the birds love songs to sing to you. I clothe you with warm sunshine and perfume the air. My love for you is deeper than the deepest ocean and bigger than the biggest mountain. My love runs on always as something that will never die. I want us to spend eternity together in Heaven. I know how hard it is on earth. I really know, because I was there and I want to help you. My Father wants to help you to too. BUT it is your decision. I wait still because I love you.

Signed, Your Friend, Jesus Christ.

This imaginary letter goes to the very heart of Scripture by reminding us that God loves us deeply and individually, and  that He yearns to have a close personal relationship with us. Jesus promised “Lo I Am with you always, even to the end of the age.” If we want to, we can experience His constant Companionship and Comradeship right now during the whole of our earthly life and beyond. He loves us now from the Throne as He loved us then from the Cross and he wants our friendship and companionship just as He wanted the companionship of the 12 disciples. The letter reminds us that Christ is constantly watching and observing us, yearning for us to take up this Divine invitation by turning away from our sins and making proper time for Him in our daily lives.

Scripture teaches that those truly follow Jesus will find in Him an ever present, never failing Personal Friend and Companion. They have the comfort of never treading life’s paths alone and they have the satisfaction of being able to lay every burden and care of life on His shoulders. He shares what they go through, He suffers when they suffer and He grieves when they grieve. Their feelings of guilt are gone, their sins forgiven, the emptiness at the centre of their lives removed. Those who have Him as their Friend are not unduly alarmed by world events, nor by what they witness on the News. They are not fearful as others are fearful, nor anxious as others are anxious. They have an inner peace and joy which nothing can take from them, firm in the knowledge that one day Christ will return in order to restore peace and justice in the world.

These blessings of Companionship, help, joy, security, forgiveness, contentment and comfort, are rewards for those who take the Lord seriously and who have really placed  Him at the centre of their hearts by turning away from their sins. They are blessings available to any person, at any time no matter what their past. It doesn’t matter what their age, race, culture or social status maybe, the only condition Christ gives is a truly repentant heart. Provided that single condition is fulfilled the way is clear for a relationship to form and for blessings to flow.

It sounds simple and it is simple! But sadly it is at this hurdle many fall. People look at Jesus and indeed want the blessings which He offers--who wouldn’t? They are delighted by the thought of these things. Jesus then reaches out His hand to them and says “Come to Me”, but as they try to move their hand to grasp His they suddenly realise that to do so they must let go of their sinful actions. To grasp the hand of  Christ they must come “empty handed” or truly repentant. They can’t hold onto His hand while at the same time hold onto attitudes and commit actions which they know to be wrong.

Their conscience will indicate exactly what they must let drop. Perhaps its letting go of putting their business career first or letting go of an immoral relationship; perhaps it may be letting go of  materialism or letting go of bitterness and a lack of compassion towards those with whom they disagree. Whatever it may be, they discover it’s impossible to hold onto it while at the same time hold onto the hand of Christ.

Jesus then reasons with them and urges “do not waste your time on what can never satisfy. Follow Me and let your soul delight itself in abundance. Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear and your soul will live.” (Isaiah ch 55vs 1-3). They look at Jesus, then they look at what they must let go of and sadly they think, “He’s asking too much”! They turn away and as the letter says His “tears are in the rain”. For the price of an affair, a step up the career ladder, or for the price of larger house they have rejected the Lord of Life and sold their soul.

In John ch 3v19 Jesus lamented that people would often choose darkness rather light; and the disastrous consequences of these decisions can be seen all around us in our broken society and broken world. Disobedience and sin doesn’t work and never can work. It brings nothing but misery. Only the Way of Life works and this is clearly seen in the lives of those who have chosen that Path.

In Deuteronomy ch30 vs 11,15/19 the Lord says, “What I ask from you is not too hard to understand nor is it too difficult: I set before you today life and good, death and evil: I set before you blessing and cursing, therefore choose life.” Jesus came so that “we may have life and may have life in abundance” (John ch 10v10). Those who choose to  firmly gasp His hand and follow Him are never disappointed. By letting go of their sins they embrace an abundant new life of blessing and walk into eternity with a True Friend and Companion constantly by their side.