Been There, Done That.

He had prepared a message for the youth group, and he had worked hard on it. There was only one problem. He had been told that they were going to do a “Moody Blues” theme—or at least that’s what he thought they said. Now, he’s faced with a quartet of “Blues Brothers” look-alikes, and that awful “oops” sensation in the pit of his stomach.

I felt his pain. Been there, done that.

So, I took the young man under wing and helped him salvage what he had, and gave him some ideas to work with, and before I knew it, I was practically preaching it to him, while he took mental notes.

Then, as Sharon and I walked down the hall, she said “What was it that you were saying back there?” I knew almost immediately where she was headed. Persistent Southern belle that she is, she said it again. “Tell me again what it was that you were saying back there.”

I hate it when she uses my own teaching against me. Ouch. She was right. I had just finished unloading a pile of frustration on her at the supper table. I’d had a rough day at work, and I just needed to talk about it and get it out of my system. I was not what you’d call in a great mood.

What I had helped this young guy put together was a quick lesson on dealing with “the blues.” Everybody’s got ’em. In fact, even Jesus had the blues sometimes. If you doubt that, go read about Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane. The core point was that life has its ups and downs, and we all experience both. Jesus was hailed as the “King of the Jews” when he made his triumphal entry to Jerusalem, and a week later, the same crowd that loved him so much before had turned on Him and called for His crucifixion. Now, that’s “ups and downs”.

Jesus was fully human, as well as fully divine. That means that He went through puberty, zits, and untying the apron strings, just like we all need to. Whatever pit of discouragement you’re in, He can honestly say “been there, done that.” Jesus understands our hurts and heartaches, and He’s fully able to carry us through them, no matter what!

Yup. Convicted by my own teaching.

The young man recovered, and from reports I’ve heard did a fine job. And, once again I thanked God in heaven for giving me Sharon.

Even if she does make me listen to my own teaching.

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