Lessons From the Couch {or How to Wander this Wilderness}

“This sucks.” My eleven year-old son grumbled from the couch.  World Cup images flickered off the TV and his now yellowing, soccer-ball stamped cast rested on a stack of pillows. A broken 3rd metacarpal. On June 18th no less, with the entire dive season ahead and no hope of entering the pool for most of the summer. “Yeah, son,” I say. “I know how you feel.”

Sometimes I feel just like him – broken and stuck on the couch watching other people live out their dreams. Am I ever going to learn what it means to fully live? To go through a day without facing off against the white fangs of anger or the dark depths of depression? Am I ever going to cross over this raging  river barring my entrance into the Promised Land? And “walk on Canaan’s fair and happy land? Where my possessions lie?” (On Jordan’s Stormy Banks lyrics)

But this morning, I think I learned something in the book of Hebrews…

what is man

Did you catch that? Or rather, did you really understand that?  I used to think that, “the son of man” referred to Jesus, for the Scriptures readily refers to him as such:

  • And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” – Matthew 8:20

  • He answered, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man.” – Matthew 13:37
  • Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. – Matthew 24:44

There are 30 separate references in the book of Matthew alone!

But read again.  This quote is from Hebrews.  A letter written to Jewish Christians just before their beloved Jerusalem was taken over by Babylon.  They’ve heard about Jesus, believed in Jesus, were waiting for Jesus’ imminent return, and now? Fear births unbelief. And In their haste to find security, they start to sample the honey of heretics. Can’t you just hear their grumbling and complaining? {sound familiar, perhaps?}


 

“What the heck? When is this Messiah coming back again? When will I see Him, ‘descend from the clouds,’ the way His disciples promised?  Doesn’t He see our impending doom? Does anyone see? Can anyone help? Moses and Aaron are dead. Joshua and Caleb long gone. Who’s left? Angels?

“No, no!” the author of Hebrews says. “You already know Jesus is greater than the angels. And if the angels proclaimed God’s word to your ancestors and your ancestors were duly disciplined for ignoring them, how much more will you be disciplined if you turn away from He who is greater than the angels?”

“What’s more – God did not put the future you’re waiting so eagerly for in subjection to angels. He put it under YOUR feet.” Yes! Your feet!

“But you are afraid to take dominion.  You are afraid to walk in that freedom.  Death and Satan have bound you in fear. You have once again become their slave.

“And that is why we need a big brother.  We need Jesus – to, ‘provide a way of escape from bondage. To provide access to God’s presence, and an entrance into man’s intended glory’ (New Spirit Filled Life Bible, p1732).”


In all my incessant talk about the Israelite story, the escape from slavery, wandering the desert, pining after Jericho from the far side of the Jordan – I think I’ve finally learned something. As a Christian, as part of the heavenly family – a sister of Christ:

I stand side by side with my big brother.

  • The heir of all things.
  • The One who laid down His life for me, His little sister.
  • The One who leads by example.
  • The one who occupies this position of dominion, at the right hand of God the Father, for me, not because I am denied the right hand of God, but rather because I am too afraid to take my seat. {Too aware of my own sin, perhaps? Doubting the promises of God, perhaps? And tempted too readily by the honey of modern-day heretics?}

And as a sister in Christ, as a soldier standing shoulder to shoulder with, “the captain of my salvation” {Hebrews 2:10}.

I have already been led out of slavery and into the glorious presence of my Father. 

This wilderness wandering is not futile. It’s not a life spent broken and stuck on the couch watching other people live out their dreams. It’s not just a journey through the muck and mire of anger and depression, waiting hastily for the day of my Lord’s return, longing woefully after a shore I’ll never step foot upon.

It’s a lifetime of access to God’s presence.

A lifetime of open door policies, through Christ, to my heavenly Father. A lifetime of personal counseling sessions with my oldest brother, who’s been there, done that, experienced my every temptation, my every trial, and has compassion on my plight.  And not only that, knows what it takes to obey the Father.

This life may suck. And I’m broken and feel like I’m stuck on the couch of life. But through Christ, I am no longer alone. I have departed Egypt, escaped slavery, and entered into the the promise of God’s presence. Here, I will never be alone again.

Higher than the mountains that I face
Stronger than the power of the grave
Constant through the trial and the change
One thing remains… (Jesus Culture lyrics, One Thing Remains)what is man3
Photo Credits and other more amazing Pinterest art {HERE}

 

Might I Pray for Us?

Dear Jesus, our big brother, redeemer, and friend. Who’s gone before us and is always beside us. Thank you for rescuing us out of slavery and drawing us into this wilderness called, “Life in Christ.” Thank you for opening the door to the promise of the presence of God.  Thank you for setting us on the banks of Jordan, with our eyes forever fixed on the hope of Canaan, our Promised Land. Help us cease whining and complaining about not ever being able to cross that river, and see the blessing of being in your presence, here, today, this side of heaven. Amen.

 

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