My thoughts have been running rampant lately. I’ve had trouble focusing them into one post. I went home to Ohio on the 21st of December and I got back to Wheaton on January 4th. It was a great break. I enjoyed being home and with my family. I enjoyed sleeping in and being able to spend time with my friends from high school. Through the rough parts, I sought out the joy and I am grateful for that. On my trip back, I took the MegaBus, which, if you don’t know is a very cheap bus that travels mostly around the midwest. It originated in Europe, is in Canada and the US. It’s similar to Greyhound, but MegaBus is a lot cheaper.
My bus was supposed to leave at 8:15am from Cleveland on Saturday, but it didn’t arrive until 9:15ish. It was freezing on Saturday in Cleveland, it was around 1 degree Farenheit and it was pretty windy. That being said, I was standing outside for a good hour freezing my butt off. At around 9, a MegaBus pulled into the station, and let me tell you how relieved I felt. “I finally get to go on the bus and get warmed up” I thought. I couldn’t feel my feet and the feeling in my toes was gone within the first 15min of being outside. The bus pulled up and the first thing the bus driver said was “This is not your bus! Do not get on this bus!” I’m not sure if you’ve ever felt betrayed before, I’m sure you have, but I felt so betrayed and tricked in that moment. It made me very frustrated. I had been waiting (along with the rest of the people outside) for 45 minutes, freezing, and the lady just took the carrot, the hope I had of warmth, that had been hanging over my head and snatched it away and said “HA! You can’t have it!” I was looking forward to that moment that the bus opened it’s doors and I was able to walk on and sit down and thaw in warmth. But, it didn’t come for another 15 minutes.
My thoughts led me straight to sermon illustrations (I know, weird). All I could think about was the comparisons between the MegaBus and sin. I trusted the MegaBus to be on time and ready to pick me up with heat streaming from the air vents, but it left me waiting for it. I felt deceived by the MegaBus in that moment, and it made me very frustrated. The MegaBus left me hopeless, frustrated, and freezing, and really, it shouldn’t have. I paid money for the MegaBus to be at that station at 8:15am, I did my part of the deal, and it came up short. Sometimes as humans, we put our hope in sin, in humans, in this world and what it can give us, and it betrays us and says: “This is not your bus! Do not get on this bus!” That hope and longing we have for forgiveness, life, joy, and peace, is snatched away from us by the brokenness of this world. The world looks us in the eye, after all our hard work and effort and says “HA! You can’t have it!”
The MegaBus didn’t hurt me in the moment I felt betrayed, but sin hurts us. It causes us to lose trust and to shrink down deeper inside of us and tell us we’re not worth it. Sin silently takes us and secretly tells us you are a disgrace and you don’t deserve ________ (love, hope, peace, joy, etc.) No matter how hard you work, no matter how much you do or how much effort you put in or how much money you pay, sin tells us “you are not worth it, you do not deserve life”. And honestly it’s true, and that’s almost what hurts more.
The truth is, you don’t deserve life and deep down in all of us, we know we don’t. But that’s where Jesus comes in with Grace. He knows we don’t deserve life, yet he came to give it to us. He’s not like the MegaBus because he’s reliable, and he won’t let us down. If we put our trust in him, we will always find hope, joy, peace, and life. That’s the difference between Jesus and sin. Jesus tells us we are worth it and we do deserve life, but not because of who we are, but because of who he is. Instead of us running towards a carrot that keeps getting further and further away, we are running towards the arms of Christ and in him we will find everything we need.
It made me think about myself and what I put my hope and trust in. Recently, I have been putting a lot of my hope and trust in people. I want people to make me feel loved and cherished, but they don’t, and shouldn’t. I have been blessed to have many people in my life who love me and care about me, and I am so thankful for them. But they can’t fill me up. They can’t take the place of God in my life, and they recently have. I have lost sight of Christ in my life and I feel as though I’ve lost connection to him. I’ve been worn out by the world around me and I’ve lost a desire to seek him. But in that loss, I long to have that connection again, and I’m seeking it. I’m seeking to be renewed by His Spirit, and although I don’t know how or when, I trust that Christ will wake me from my slumber.