Christians are not immune to troubles although some might like you to think otherwise. My early exposure to church was that you didn’t let on that you were struggling. Everyone at the churches I had gone to had these huge smiles on their faces, “Praise The Lord Brother… Sister!” You’d think nothing bothered them ever. And, if you were having a problem, you couldn’t tell anyone because you weren’t displaying happiness and faith.
Long ago, I was battling heavy/death metal music, partying in clubs, going with boyfriends not in church, suicidal tendencies and fear for years while going to church and nobody knew it, because I learned how to wear a mask. But inside, I was dying. I learned later that a healthy church is one that accepts that when it rains, Christians get wet too.
We are not immune to social injustices, betrayal, sexual immorality, divorce, abuse, drugs, gambling, old habits or even smoking. My past was a hard and fast lifestyle full of degradation and despair. When I first came to Jesus, these things didn’t just fall off. I struggled through my early years of being a Christian. Before that time, I was manic depressive and suicidal.
What I think the church has forgotten is that we all come to Jesus broken. We bring our share of problems, generational curses, bad habits, terrible upbringings and yet He took us in and bore our sins. He doesn’t like the way we lived and so He puts His Holy Spirit in us to help us have the power to say “no” to the enemy.
There are no perfect churches, I know that, some I’ve visited, no one even spoke to me. I had to find my own seat and no follow up phone calls later. Other churches start off great and then change the longer you attend. And then there’s the ones that use control to keep members in line and they’re more like religiosity than relationship with Jesus. Let me say this too, I’m not trying to say no church is good. That’s not true, they’re just a little harder to find is all.
I don’t want to wear a mask around people nor pretend I don’t get depressed. Sometimes I don’t want to hear, “Smile Sister Kim, Jesus is good!” or hear someone give me a scripture. There’s a time for that but sometimes all I want to hear is: “I understand.“
This is the first time I think I’ve written a post like this. I’m glad to get this off my chest because as you’re reading this, you can relate to what I’m saying. Or, maybe you belong to a church like what I’ve described. I’m not putting any church down nor advising you to leave your current church home.
I’m just saying that we can no longer sit on a fence and pretend everything is wonderful in our lives just because we are saved and sanctified. Jesus didn’t smile all the time He was on earth and He definitely had trouble. How are we supposed to escape it if He didn’t? Being saved isn’t about how holy we can appear on the outside, it’s about how Holy He is. It’s isn’t about religion. Religion doesn’t save anybody, it’s about relationship with Jesus.
It’s okay that the rain got you wet and you don’t feel like smiling today. It’s okay that you’re struggling to be delivered from strongholds. Jesus is okay with that too and He does understand how you feel.
He became fully man and lived on earth just so He could better understand our struggles. So, just talk to Him about what’s troubling you. If you have no one else to go to, you always have Him. You are never alone ever. Let Jesus change you on the inside. That’s what I did and it was the only way to truly be free of my past. Nothing else worked that I had tried. Surround yourself with good and sound Christian friends who will pray with and for you.
The world doesn’t have the answers, medicines can’t cure everything, money can’t buy joy and acquiring things won’t fill an empty void. The only one who can bring everlasting piece and contentment is Jesus Himself. He’s the only one who understands that we all get wet sometimes.