Thanksgiving is upon us! It’s probably the only time of the year where people intentionally think about why they’re thankful. This year, as my first Thanksgiving as a widower and the first time in about 5 years that I’m not with my late wife, amidst the difficulty of dealing with loss, I really am grateful for a savior.
That sounds really nice and cliché, something a Christian blogger should say, but there’s a lot more to that beneath the surface. First and foremost, let me say that I hate the fact that I need a savior. It offends ever morsel of my self-righteous sensibilities. Whether you realize it or not, you’re just as deluded as I am. By default, we believe we’re self-sovereign and self-sufficient…and we couldn’t be “wronger”.
I know that’s bad grammar but that’s great theology. We would rather be perfect on our own, with no need for intervention of any kind, but one reason among many that God allows difficulties and suffering is to expose how completely incapable and fragile we are on our own and free us from our illusions of self-sovereignty. As a general disclaimer, I’ve said this in every post since I’ve started blogging, but just in case this is the first post of mine you’ve read, I’ll repeat it. I don’t believe for one second that my wife died to teach me a lesson; however, since she’s died, I’ve learned some infinitely valuable things about myself and about God.
None more important than this: Jesus is a savior. Not just from past sins or future torment. God is working in and for us right now, and its not just not about 2,000 years ago when Jesus died on a cross for your sins. Jesus is our present savior, and before you get misled by the term “Saved” (which has become a really churchy word), check out some of these definitions:
1. to rescue from danger or possible harm, injury, or loss:
2. to keep safe, intact, or unhurt; safeguard; preserve:
3. to keep from being lost:
4. to avoid the waste of:
5. to set aside, reserve, or lay by:
6. to treat carefully in order to reduce wear, fatigue, etc.:
To say “Jesus saves” is to say that he rescues us from our fears, depressions, and anxieties; keeps us intact; keeps us from being lost; prevents us from wasting our lives on things that don’t matter; sets us aside for His purpose and treats us carefully. And as much as I hate being where I am, I have come to know these truths in my worst moments. He really does these things!
I’m thankful for a savior that’s capable and relatable. I think most people get that God is capable. Most people that believe in God, (whatever their specific religion is) understand that God can do whatever God wants, but I don’t think we get how relatable God is. My favorite scripture (for today at least) is Hebrews 4:15
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet was without sin.”
Jesus understands what it feels like to have pressure to perform to other people’s expectations, what it feels like to struggle with purpose, have people talk about him, plot for his demise, experience death, loss, deal with intolerable people and every other thing that we can struggle with on a daily basis. And He keeps us intact, prevents us from being lost or wasting our lives sets us aside and treats us carefully today.
You don’t have to worry about your life, where you’re going, how things will turn out, how well your business is performing, what your kids will turn out to be or a million of other concerns because if you’ve come to trust Christ, He’s you’re savior, seeing to it that you’re guided, protected and led.
Today, I’m thankful for a savior.