I am often impacted by the totality of our Sunday message. Sometimes, it is a verse that strikes a chord in my heart. Other times, it is just a phrase or word that arrests my attention.
This past Sunday it was a single phrase. Pastor (or should I say, Brother) Chet introduced the sermon by asserting that whether God was giving or taking, the Lord is enough. He summarized this attitude with the phrase, “Give me Jesus.”
That phrase comes from an undated Afro-American spiritual that was interpreted by Fernando Ortega and has been sung by many artists. Anne Graham Lotz has written a great book by that name, and there is a stirring audio available of her speaking on that topic.
In that recording, she remarks that the previous two years had been especially tough for her. Her husband’s office building burnt down. She published two books and wrote another in that span of time. Her three children got married, and her son battled through cancer. Her mom had major serious health issues and Anne became a care taker.
Graham goes on to say that she doesn’t want to escape. She doesn’t want to quit. She doesn’t want our sympathy. She doesn’t even want a miracle. She declares, “I just want Jesus. Give me Jesus!”
In her maturity, Anne is letting us all know that Jesus is enough. He is enough for today and He is enough for tomorrow. “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want” (Psalm 23:1).
I have no idea what challenges our Coast Hills family members may be going through. I don’t know who has a major health issue. I’m not sure who is struggling to put food on the table. I am not aware of all the relationship fractures or the cases of depression and anxiety.
I do know that our church family has issues. Our people struggle just like everyone else. This side of glory, we are all susceptible to the pain of being human. The holidays often make those pains seem larger and louder than usual. There are a whole lot of people who need the peace God promised that night outside Bethlehem.
So, maybe our personal mantra this next week ought to be that phrase: “Give me Jesus. I just need Jesus.”
Go on, try it!