Cigarettes and Avocados

Jesus went to the cross with nothing. He’d been loved by his disciples, loved by the sinners, loved by a Father… He could’ve commanded stones to turn into bread if he’d wanted to. Jesus had everything going for him. And within 24 hours, he’d been stripped of everything. His disciples and friends turned away. Peter even denied knowing him. Even the God of the heavens, Jesus’ God and Father, turned away from him. Jesus was left with nothing. 

You know how this story ends. You know he comes back, you know his life is restored. I want to take it a step further. Apply this to your own life:  When God turned His face away from His only son, and Jesus asked Him, “My God, why have You forsaken me?” what if God had answered in that moment? 

You know what God could’ve said? This is Jessie talking, not some crazy theology we’re adding in. But just bear with me. What if God had answered Jesus’ question? He could’ve said, “My Son, because in return, you will forever hold the keys to death and hell. If you do this, you will take the keys from the enemy’s hand, and declare no more.”

So I ask you, and ask myself. In the middle of the suffering, when the pain is overwhelming, when we can’t understand, when friends betray us, when families hurt us… We tend to ask God why. We beg Him to have mercy on us. We plead with Him to make the trials go away. What if God answered our whys when we asked them? Would it make the pain any less? What would it change? We’re going to get to the other side and see what was up all along, anyway.

When we look to the heavens and beg the question, “Why have You forsaken me?” “Why?” I challenge you to stop. Just stop. God’s not going to let anything go to waste. So whether you’re in a situation right now because of decisions you’ve made, or because of ones that were made for you, asking why just doesn’t seem to be enough. We humans, we always want answers. Why does x plus y equal z? If you’re like me, 2 plus 2 is equaling 5, and you can’t figure out what the hell is going on. Just stop. Stop, and instead of asking why, just go with it. And if you ask God anything, ask Him to use this, whatever “this” is, for His glory. Because at the end of the day, and I know this is going to offend some sensibilities… At the end of the day, you aren’t the star of this show. On our best of days, we’re fortunate enough to just be props in the biggest, baddest theatrical production the world has ever known. 

Rest easy. Oh, I know it hurts. And I’m not going to sit here at my computer and tell you it’s all going to get better one day. Situations change, and the places we’re at in our lives change, and we mature, but the harsh truth is that life itself never gets any easier. You’re always around the corner from the next beautiful disaster. So get that idea out of your head. What will make a huge, significant difference in your life will be how you choose to respond when things come against you. Me personally, I could run to any number of old vices tonight. It’s been a rough evening… But these days, the only vices I have are cigarettes and avocados, and a God who is so very madly in love with me. He doesn’t even mind my obsession with avocados. The cigarettes, we’re working on…

Take a big spoonful of avocado, say a prayer, and let the Holy Spirit do what he does best. If you have to, say to hell with the world for a while, and just pull into God. I mean it. Take a few days off from work. Go retreat to a cabin somewhere. If you can’t gather that luxury, then just go to Starbucks and get the biggest turtle creamice they’ll sell you, and just go hide out somewhere. It’s okay. Take a break. And don’t ask why you’re here. Just ask God to show you how to walk it out. Then allow Him to use it for His glory. 

Remember, it’s all temporary anyway. This is nothing compared to eternity. We got this. 

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