What if I Really Believed?
by Cris Corzine-McCloskey
Where can I go from your Sprit? Where can I flee from your presence? ~ King David
I recently saw a short video clip on facebook that showed a visible Jesus doing everyday activities alongside unsuspecting people who did not realize he was there. One clip showed Jesus jogging alongside a runner, smiling encouragingly. In another He had His arms around a woman as she did the dishes, and another scene showed Him in a hospital waiting room, trying to give comfort to a family that was unaware of His presence. The video struck a chord with me, and got me questioning how different my life would be if I really believed that Jesus was with me.
From long before the cradle Jesus has been called Immanuel, which means God with us, but do we really believe that? I think the fact that He is with us registers somewhere in the back of our brain, kind of like the fact that we have DNA. We believe we have DNA, you can even convince us that we are so full of it that it reaches to the moon and back, but the thought of our DNA has no impact on our personal lives. Similarly, when I try to remind my clients, or even myself, that God is with us, I usually get a glassy eyed non-response, like what I said is a nice sentiment, but has little practical application to our real lives. I get it, because I have often felt the same way.
When I read through Psalms one of the things that I notice is that David had a revelation about the presence of God. He knew God was with him, and he knew that God’s presence was constant, and it changed the way David lived his life. Indeed, David knew two things that every believer should anchor their lives on, God is with us, and His love endures forever. David knew that God knew him intimately, was acquainted with all his ways, and loved him completely. As I mentioned in a previous post, the things that David knew made him a virtual giant slayer. I don’t think he could have, or would have, ran to meet Goliath with nothing more than a slingshot if he was not fully confident that God was with him.
And that is what I think an awareness of the presence of God would do for me, it would give me outrageous confidence. Any time I would be tempted to freak out during the day and start worrying (yes, this happens to me too) I would be able to look over at the tangible, visible presence of Christ, and I would see He was not a bit ruffled. I would probably whisper, ‘hey, should I be worried about this,’ and He would nod his head in a reassuringly firm, ‘No.’ He would give me a look that could be translated as ‘chill out, Cris, I’ve got this.’ Ahhh, automatic peace! No matter what we came up against on our daily journey together, I know He would always reassure me not to worry, and because I could see Him, I would believe Him.
At the end of the each day we have lived out our belief system. When I spend my days worrying and fretting and chasing peace like it’s an ever elusive quality I can’t quite grasp, I am living out the fact that I don’t really believe in my heart of hearts that Jesus is with me. I believe it in my head, but like that DNA, it is not making a difference in my life. When I had this realization it was very humbling, but it was also very freeing. I don’t have a problem with stress, I have a belief problem! Because if I really believed in my heart what I know in my head, I would do this thing called life quite differently.
Good luck finding a sick person that I would not want to lay hands on, because I know from my Bible that Jesus cured all who were brought to Him (Luke 4:40). From that I would know that if He did that then, and He is with me now…well, the sky is the limit on what I would try to do. Peter got out of a boat and walked on water just because he could see Jesus! That is another thing I noticed in the Bible, when Jesus was with them, His disciples were fierce. They cast out devils and healed the sick; they were bold about trying new things, even when they were not thoroughly convinced it would work. These were ordinary men who did extraordinary things because they were in the presence of Jesus. When we boil this thing down to its bare essence, isn’t that what we are? Just ordinary people, but capable of extraordinary things, because we have the presence of Je
God created us in His own image, and one of the gifts He gave us was an imagination. From His imagination He created life. Unfortunately, much of the time we use ours to dwell on regrets from the past or imagining disaster in the future. I believe He gave us imaginations so we could visualize His presence, and remember that we are not in this alone. So I encourage you to try a little experiment. Next time you are tempted to worry (which is a use of your imagination about bad things that could come) use your mind to see Jesus. Does He seem worried or fearful? The Jesus in my mind likes to whisper ‘fear not’ a lot. I must need to hear that often. What would Jesus say to you?