I don’t know about you, but for the past several weeks I’ve just been in this mood where I’m very discouraged. And I wake up in the morning sometimes, and I despair over little things or I feel like a situation is hopeless or I’m tired or I’m just fighting a losing battle. And for a while I’ve been going on in these struggles at this pace just trying to make it through. And it occurred to me this morning in prayer, that whenever I do that, I’m forgetting that Jesus is alive. And that He’s living, He’s in Heaven, He’s in me, and He’s in others. He’s with us always. He tells us that in Scripture:
Behold I am with you always, even to the end of the age.
But I think so often, we forget that. We live as if He’s not there. We live as if Jesus is dead. I think that’s a common misconception that we have, that because I can’t see Him walking around like He once did that He’s just not there anymore. That’s a lie.
Jesus is more alive now in Heaven, and more alive in our lives than the things that we can see. We forget that. We need to turn to Him in our struggles because He is life itself and He desires to bring life to us.
I think God does His best work in situations that look hopeless. We think about the tomb, where He was laid to rest and the devastation of His friends because He had been murdered, another one of their friends had committed suicide.. There’s just this hopeless situation and so much despair. And Jesus shatters that and breaks the chains of death and brings life, comes back glorified in a way that people can see. And He shares that glory with us. That’s what His resurrection does. And it’s something that’s supposed to be real to us now, today, in our lives. That in moments of weakness we would turn to Him and acknowledge that He is life itself and wants to share that life with us.
One of my favorite passages in Scripture is from Ezekiel. And it’s the passage about the valley of dry bones. God comes to Ezekiel and He tells Him to proclaim, to prophesy over this valley of bones. I don’t know about you, but I feel like that’s probably a pretty despairing situation. It’s just, as far as you can see, death. Bones, everything is dry, dusty, there’s no life. God says, I want you to pray over these bones, speak over these bones. He tells him, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord, I will cause breath to enter you and you shall live. I will cause flesh to come upon you and cover you with skin and put breath in you and you shall live and you shall know, that I am the Lord.”
God says to His people,
I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live and I will place you in your own land and then you shall know that I the Lord has spoken and I have done it.
Jesus wants to do things in our lives today, and He can, because He is alive. But so often we don’t turn to Him, we don’t ask Him to pour His life into us, to breathe upon us, to give us His spirit. We act as if He’s dead. He wants to transform us and He wants to make us new, He wants to make things beautiful, but we don’t ask.
If we’re going to start living as if Jesus is alive,
there are three simple things that we can do:
- We can remember. We can remember who He is by reading Scripture, by looking and seeing the ways that He is working in the lives of others, the way He works in His Church and His Sacraments, the way that He’s worked within our own lives. We can look back and say, Jesus was present here. I remember. He’s alive.
- We can ask. Sometimes I ask myself, Do I trust that He hears me? Do I believe that He’s carrying me? Do I ask Him to move in my life? We’re told in Scripture that we need to ask and we’ll receive. So we need to turn to Him because He is alive and wants to bring us life.
- We can trust. Just because Jesus is alive doesn’t mean that He’s going to make everything perfect as soon as we ask. Sometimes He’s delaying working in our lives so that we can grow or so that we turn to Him in the first place. We need to trust that He is carrying us and that He is moving and that He does have a plan, because Jesus is alive and He wants to bring life to us.