July 15, 2009
Life is Just Better with Jesus
by Meghan Kleppinger
He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and He will deliver us. On Him we have set our hope that He will continue to deliver us.
2 Corinthians 1:10
A new follower of Christ at eight-years-old, my first experience with true conviction was a powerful one. I was told to clean my room before going out to play. I tidied up everything as asked, but upon leaving, discovered a lone ballet slipper left on the floor. Instead of putting it where it belonged, I stuffed it somewhere and ran outside to play.
Guilt began to gnaw away at my conscience and I clearly recognized that this was different from feeling like I had done something "wrong" and fearing I would be caught and disciplined. My disobedience was sin and I knew I had let Jesus down.
To backtrack a bit, the most attractive thing to me about entering into a relationship with Christ was the promise that He would always be with me. As a military kid, I was often the lonely new girl. The idea of having a "forever friend" meant everything to me.
So, when this wave of conviction occurred, it was a "Whoa - Jesus really is always there" moment.
Later that same year, I went on a field trip to a park with a petting zoo, streams and beautiful hiking trails. I was hopping across a small creek by way of well-placed stepping stones. I remember nearly missing a stone and then feeling like I had been caught before falling. It was another "Whoa!" moment.
The Holy Spirit used those experiences to show my young heart and mind that Jesus would always be there and that He would always catch me.
I had no idea how soon I would need a firm understanding of this concept. A year or so later some things happened in my life that no young child should have to go through. Even though it was a horribly painful and confusing time for me, I was confident that God was there and that He cared for and loved me.
Someone recently asked me how a person could really know whether or not they were "saved." What a wonderful question, and I enjoyed sharing passages about the assurance that can be found by entering into a relationship with Jesus Christ. As our conversation continued, I shared that life is simply better with Jesus. Life is hard regardless of whether you are a Christ follower or not, but a life with Jesus means we don't have to go through those tough times alone.
Jesus knows and understands our pain and our struggles, and He promises to use those experiences for our good and His glory. He also promises to save and deliver us. Unfortunately, He doesn't always protect us from pain on this earth... but we can cling to the promise to be delivered eternally. We are under His watchful eye and care while on earth and then delivered safely home into His loving arms.
Life is just better with Jesus.
"And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with Me that you also may be where I am." (John 14:3)
"I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you." (John 14:18)
Intersecting Faith & Life: Take time to count the many ways God has blessed, protected, and taught you in good times and during periods of suffering. I guarantee that you'll lose count!