I must confess that I like to watch reruns of Friends. Admittedly, I never really got into watching it when they were running fresh episodes. Though, I may have seen the final episode when it aired. Honestly, I can't recall, since I'm sure I've seen a rerun on more than one occasion.
Well, unless you've made it a point to not watch Friends, on some level you must be aware of the episode where Rachel discovers that Ross has wuved her since she was in high school. If not, here's how the scene basically plays out (forgive me for any inaccuracies, but I'm not going to go watch it right now, so it's based on my poor, poor memory):
The gang is watching a video recording of the night of Rachel and Monica's senior prom. Basically, they catch on camera the fact that Rachel's date flakes and that Ross, at his parents suggestion, changes into a tux and heads down the stairs to save the day. The next thing that the camera catches is Rachel and Monica happily leaving with their dates, then flashes to Ross' sad, sad face. Once Rachel sees this, she rushes to Ross and they live happily ever after... well, not really, THEY WERE ON A BREAK!!!!
Ok, back to Jesus.
I think that if we were to all sit down and watch playbacks of our lives, in the moments when we needed Him the most, He was there ready to save the day, but we left with the jerk.
In our lonliness or in our pain we turned to drugs and alcohol, but He was there.
In our financial distress, we turned to credit cards and loans, but He was there.
In our heartache or feelings of abandonment, we turned to casual sex, but He was there.
In our grief or anger, we turned to food, but He was there.
In our shame, we turned to violence and rage, but He was there.
He was there waiting, ready to grab our hand and help us; to love us.
Picture the worst moment in your life, it might be an instant or a decision stretched out over time. But, you know the moment. The moment that you can instantly go back to if you want to feel bad. You may have more than one, I know I do. But I have one in particular. It's the place that in the midst of feeling like God might have a plan for my life after all, my mind goes to that moment and instantly I feel disqualified and unlovable. It's a trump card.
This past weekend, during praise and worship, God pulled the trump card. He'd never done that before, but in an instant, He took me back to that place, that moment all those years ago. In that same instant, I felt defeated, confused, ashamed, sad, unlovable, disqualified. Just as quickly as those emotions rolled in, Jesus held back the tide with just His nail scarred hand and said STOP! Once He had my attention, He said "I was with you in that moment and despite your failure, I loved you then just as much as I do now, in this moment."
I cried. Heck, I'm crying now as I recall that moment and type these words.
And no matter how crazy all of this sounds, it's true, you know.
I challenge you to pull up that moment or all of the moments where you feel you failed the most and see Jesus in that moment, standing with you, loving you just as much then as He does now. You may be reading this and realize that you're still in that moment. I want you to know that He's with you now and He loves you more than you can comprehend. That He still sees you the way you were intended to be and He's just waiting for you to turn and run to Him.
I can't say that if Rachel had looked up to see Ross the day of her prom, that she would have rushed to him and dumped her boyfriend, she was in high school after all. I also can't say that if someone would have caught my arm that day and said "He loves you, you know. You don't have to do this.", if it would have changed anything in that moment. What I can say is that knowing that now makes His love that much sweeter and poignant. Most importantly, it has torched the trump card.