The past two months have been a blur. They have been filled with ups, downs, laughter, tears, many doctors appointments, many hours awake, and a little girl I couldn’t trade for the world. Charis Emery was born to us two months ago and we love her more than words could express. She has something called laryngomalacia (la-ring-o-mah-lay-sha), which most people have never heard of. It causes Charis to have a hard time eating and breathing at the same time. It also causes a lot of crying and a whole lot of missed sleep. It has been trying, but most of all for me it has been revealing.
It has revealed to me more of who I am. It has revealed to me where I find my joy. It has revealed to me my gods. As a student pastor, it’s easy for people to think I have it all together or should have all the Bible answers or have this following Jesus thing figured out. Spoiler alert: I don’t. The truth is that I’m very selfish. I run to so many things for comfort and joy besides Jesus Christ. I try and be my own god and satisfy myself all the time even while I’m preaching to students that we must repent of that and trust Jesus to be our source of satisfaction and joy.
John Calvin said, “Man’s nature, so to speak, is a perpetual factory of idols.” I have seen such truth to this over the past two months. My heart clings to idols left and right to try and derive comfort or joy from them. It might be buying something new. It might be trashy (comfort) food. It might be sleep. It might be coffee. The point is that I don’t have to look far to create one.
I have been seeing the depths of my sin. I have been realizing just how sinful I really am. I have felt like I was beginning to conquer it only to fall again. It is hard. We all hate pain and at times these two months have been painful. They haven’t been painful because of my little girl, but because of how God is using her to reveal who I really am.
I am an utter trainwreck without Christ. I have been seeing more and more the depth of my need for him. Charles Spurgeon said, “I have a great need for Christ: I have a great Christ for my need.” All I can say is, “Amen!” At the same time, I mourn that I still struggle to find joy in my sin. My prayer has been that all my joy would come from Jesus.
Paul says in Romans 7:24-25, “24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.” I echo these sentiments and look forward to the day when we will be fully released from this law of sin. Until then, may our hope, joy, and comfort be ever fighting to find itself ultimately satisfied in Jesus.