I found a long lost picture of my pre-Jesus days:
Ok so I’ve been watching Wolverine, who, as we all know, is the most hardcore excellent of all the X-Men–Nay, of the entire super-hero genre–and I got to thinking: Wolverine was on the earth over one hundred years before Magneto even remotely considered him a threat. In fact, it wasn’t until Logan came under the awesome direction of Charles Xavier that he popped up on Magneto’s radar at all. But once Wolverine got hooked up with Professor X:
(Stay with me you guys, because it’s one of those days that I’m using mediocre jokes and Marvel and Jesus to cope with my mental crap.)
Are we not all a little like this, Christians? I mean, on our own, we are of little to no concern of Satan. But when we follow Jesus, look out–he stands up and starts paying attention, because he knows the potential any believer has to ruin his good time. And we become a threat. And we fall under attack. If you think walking with Jesus means your life will finally get in order and everything will be sunshine, lollipops and adamantium skeletons, you couldn’t be more wrong. Also if you’re not a believer but you think that Christians should have it all together and be the picture of sinlessness and zen-like serenity? You….technically are sort of maybe 10% right because it’s not God’s desire that we give into temptation and weaknesses–but we’re not mutants; we’re mere homosapiens without even one bone claw, dang it.
Christians, you’ll still have weaknesses and you’ll still battle the same stuff–perhaps more often and with more ferociousness, because the devil goes straight for our soft spots, everytime. Got a drinking problem? Rage-aholic much? Love to gossip? Watch yourself in these areas, especially now! As Dr. Tony Evans once said (yesterday in a radio broadcast at 8:35 a.m. central time) “The Devil wants to keep you playing defense–he cannot afford to have you playing offense.”
(Preach it, Grandpa!)
But we have a power from God’s Holy Spirit that cannot be taken away. And to up the ante, we can team up* with other believers to become one of Satan’s worst nightmares:*Teaming up may or may not include weekday bible studies/small groups/Wednesday night church/random dinners/pop-tarts and coffees/walks and talks/prayer chains/breakfasts at 5:30 a.m. on Fridays/mission trips/a million thousand good programs and activities along with a million thousand unscheduled opportunities to pray with/discuss/hang out with/minister to/love on fellow Christ-followers. If you don’t have a church family? GET ONE. Because the bible says “Don’t be flippantly blowing off getting together with other believers–cause it’s for all y’all’s good.”
Plus you will totally become as bomb a group as the X-Men. Besides, Wolverine was stronger when he had someone to encourage him and keep him accountable. He didn’t tag along on every mission, and he might not always have enjoyed it, but he was better for the relationships he had with those people who loved him and depended on him.
Wolverine still had flashbacks. He was still straight up suffering from possibly the worst case of PTSD a fictional person could ever experience. There were times when this was a stumbling block for him of course, but as soon as he remembered his purpose, these things became less smothering and more motivational.
Recently I think somehow I’ve unintentionally become a champion for mental illness–and while I appreciate each and every person who has called/ texted/messaged me with stories of encouragement and love (praise Jesus and bless 75% of my friends, cause we are a crazy bunch.) I certainly don’t mean to give the impression that I celebrate insanity, glorify my shortcomings, or embrace my hot-tempered, uber-distracted, anxious nature. Please no, absolutely no. If anything, you guys, let’s get back to the way God is faithful and He keeps His promises. I may be a total nut job, but God loves me, and with His help I can wind up not wandering the Canadian Rockies in a drunken stupor with a full-on Duck Dynasty beard.
Stick with God, believer, and stick with His people, and fight the good fight. Because He was for real when He said “Look, I am with you, and will watch over you wherever you go.”
Even if it’s all the way to Japan–though we won’t again discuss it because most people are trying to forget that whole Wolverine/samurai debacle.