Loneliness or Life

Jesse Birkey's picture

It’s my honor and privilege to have Jeremy Jernigan as a guest blogger.  I first heard Jeremy speak as a guest at Woodland Hills Church and was deeply impacted by the message he brought, the message you’ll read about below.  If you’d like to hear the full message you can find it here.  I strongly encourage you to check it out. 

Find Jeremy’s contact information below and find out how you can connect with him.  You can also find his book on Amazon.  Enjoy!  

 

Loneliness or Life

I recently had an entertaining conversation with my four year old. He’s number two of our four kids and provides the most unique personality of them all. I was sitting in my living room when he came to ask me if he could play in the garage. I thought that was a strange question but considering the source it made sense.  I agreed to his simple request but what he said next caught me totally off guard.

His face turned serious. He held up his index finger and boldly demanded, “But you don’t come in there.”

Now he had my full attention. I didn’t know whether to laugh or feel offended. I began asking him why he made this unusual demand. He wouldn’t answer. This began a little charade we played through a few times. He would ask me if he could play in the garage (to which I’d say yes), followed by a request for me not to come in there (to which I’d say no).

We did this a few times until I finally asked him to explain why he didn’t want me to come into the garage. He paused for a second, debating his best course of action.  After a few moments he looked down and sheepishly explained he wanted to “climb on your car again.”

There are a few interesting words in that sentence, but it was the last one that caught me first. What do you mean again? You’ve been playing with my car? Next, I turned to focus on the word “on” instead of “in”. What exactly was this new hobby of his? I spent the next few minutes telling him just a few of the many reasons why this was NOT okay.

As I thought more about this conversation I realized I have the same tendency in my heart. Those moments I want to veer off the path or do things my way always come with the impulse for God not to be present (which is a silly thought given His omnipresence).

Yet the desire of sin brings with it a desire for alienation from God. When we rationally think of it in these terms it seems absurd. But consider the moments you’ve chosen something you know God hasn’t desired for you. How did your actions cause you to feel toward Him? It’s not that God is changing or moving but rather that we start feeling guilt and shame, two things that always make us hesitant for Him. God looks for us in the Garden of Eden all over again. The result is often a profound sense of loneliness.

Whenever we feel that tug on our heart to exclude God we should stop and take note. We often choose a short-term pleasure over our long-term well-being. But the forbidden bite of the apple never sustains like we envision it. Instead, God invites us to live connected to the Vine and the vibrancy which flows through it (John 15). The result is a profound sense of life. Conversely, whenever we pull away we inevitably experience the lifelessness that comes with it.

My son didn’t get to climb on my car anymore but he did provide me with a great moment of personal reflection. Not to mention that the next day I drove to work and the sun hit my windshield at a particular angle. With that view I could clearly make out…footprints.

Are you experiencing life or loneliness?

 

Jeremy Jernigan

Blog: www.TomorrowsReflection.com

Twitter: @jeremyjernigan

Jeremy Jernigan is Executive Pastor of Creative Arts and Student Ministry at Central Christian Church in Arizona. As a second-generation preacher, he has a passion for discovering and communicating truth. He’s married to an amazing woman named Michelle and they have four children together. Each of their kids has a middle name from a New York Yankees player, which shows how amazing Michelle is as well as how much she loves Jeremy. Connect with him on his blog at: TomorrowsReflection.com.