This morning’s devotion comes to us from Luke Ferraguti.
These last few weeks have got me in a real slump. Not that there haven’t been any moments of relief (I love watching a good comeback story. Here’s to you, Tom Brady), but life’s just hard sometimes. Mix together a few disappointing moments, a load of work, and the flu, and you’ve got a recipe for the blues. I’m currently a graduate student studying music performance; and here, like most places on earth, there’s no shortage of disapproving glances and unmet expectations. In these moments, when the pressure really bears down, I find Dory’s advice from Finding Nemo unhelpful:
“When life gets you down, you know what you got to do? Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming…”
It’s not bad advice, but it doesn’t make me feel lighter.
At the end of these disappointing days, I turn to a different show, my favorite comedy, The Office. The blunderings and buffoonery of Michael Scott make me feel better on their own, but I think there’s something deeper at work. When life hurts and tosses us around, we instinctively search for our anchor. Whether its friends or family or movies, we want to hear a word of familiarity. Maybe it’s why I send more text messages on nights like tonight, which is really just a blind reach to the people I know, hoping that they’ll affirm me and remind me that they care. When I feel unloved, I go to the places where I’ll be reminded that I am loved, even if I know it’s true and I’ve heard it before. I’m like the kid who has heard a story a thousand times, and yet insists, “Read it again, dad.”
I guess that’s the good news of the Gospel. In one instance, God forever fixed our righteousness through the death of Jesus Christ. Our hands were reaching out in the dark, and were gripped by the Father. And in these darkest moments he whispers to us, “I love you.”
When I’m feeling down, I go back to The Office because I know it, the characters, the stories, the ending. It’s all fixed and it’s not going to change. But even greater is the story of our rescue and redemption. And it’s a story that we can read over and over and over again.
“For I am convinced that neither life nor death, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39.