So lately, there’s been this icky feeling that tries to creep up on me when I’m exhausted and vulnerable from the day. It’s the feeling that whatever my day, week or month is bringing me, I’m not strong enough, creative enough, or smart enough to handle it. Can you relate?
It’s as if everything in my life that should be inspiring and propelling me forward is instead bringing my heart to a screeching halt as it looks at the challenges as “too big” for me to handle. My mind runs away with thoughts like “no way I can handle this interview” or “I have too many deadlines. I know I’m going to fail” or my least favorite “I’m not cut out for this after all. Maybe I should just give up…”
The battle in our minds is a constant and brutal attack on the very strength of our hearts. What we believe about ourselves determines where we will choose to draw our strength from and when we look to ourselves as our source, then we will ALWAYS come up short. It’s only when we turn to Jesus to be our strength, our creativity, and our wisdom will we experience victory over all of our shortcomings.
But we know this, right? So WHY is it so dang hard?
I believe that when we’re younger, for those of use who were blessed to be saved at an early age, we developed this cookie-cutter, storybook image of Jesus that feeds our little hearts well but doesn’t translate into out adult world with our adult problems. After all, that cartoon Jesus that I see in my old Precious Moments bible doesn’t look like he could handle the storms in my life today. Subconsciously, he becomes more of a memory and less of a reality in our lives.
But then I came across this little passage in the 3rd installment of The Chronicles of Narnia, Prince Caspian and I began to realize something I had forgotten.
And then—oh joy! For he was there: the huge Lion, shining white in the moonlight, with his huge black shadow underneath him.
But for the movement of his tail he might have been a stone lion, but Lucy never thought of that. She never stopped to think whether he was a friendly lion or not. She rushed to him. She felt her heart would burst if she lost a moment. And the next thing she knew was that she was kissing him and putting her arms as far round his neck as she could and burying her face in the beautiful rich silkiness of his mane.
“Aslan, Aslan. Dear Aslan,” sobbed Lucy. “At last.”
The great beast rolled over on his side so that Lucy fell, half sitting and half lying between his front paws. He bent forward and just touched her nose with his tongue. His warm breath came all round her. She gazed up into the large wise face.
“Welcome, child,” he said.
“Aslan, said Lucy, “you’re bigger.”
“That is because you are older, little one,” answered he.
“Not because you are?”
“I am not. But every year you grow, you will find me bigger.”
This is such a beautiful picture of both how tenderly Jesus loves us and how big he truly is in our lives. “Every year you grow, you will find me bigger.” The Jesus who met you in the Sunday school classroom is the same Jesus who can handle your broken heart, your broken family and your broken life. I don’t believe that Jesus physically gets bigger and stronger as you grow older, but your realization of him—his power, strength, might and glory—gets bigger and bigger.
Your drinking problem… He’s bigger
Your broken family… He’s bigger
Your screwed up love life… He’s bigger
Your cutting problem… He’s bigger
Your failed career… He’s bigger
Your shame and condemnation… He’s bigger
And guess what else… HE CARES!
Just like Aslan is with little Lucy, Jesus longs to take you in his arms, set you down in a wide open space, and say, “I’m here. Tell me what’s wrong. Because no matter what it is, I’m bigger.” He longs to know your heart and wants you to share everything your uncertain or scared about and then trust him enough to place it in his hands, knowing it’s the safest place it could be.
The struggles we face in our life, the challenges that seem too daunting for us to handle, were meant to draw us to the One who has all the strength we need to handle it, and to handle it well. Your problems are not too big (or too small) for Jesus to take care of. And the more steps we take in faith to put our trust in what He can do, the more we will see him for who he is—the mighty King who conquered ALL. And he’ll never stop growing bigger and bigger in our lives.