Enjoying the Journey
Recently I was in Vancouver, British Columbia for a meeting. On Saturday night I had a little time alone at the hotel and decided to do the Christian (and Canadian) thing: walk across the street to Tim Horton’s for a cup of coffee and a donut. It is good to immerse yourself in the culture when you are traveling! (At least this was how I justified the donut.)
It was a beautiful evening in downtown Vancouver and I enjoyed the walk. As I waited at a crosswalk to return to my room, a distinguished looking man nearing seventy years of age came and stood beside me. A conversation was initiated and very soon I realized that the Lord had given me a divine appointment.
My new acquaintance was raised in a strict Jewish Orthodox home. Now many decades later he had rejected all belief in God. He was a well read, well spoken man. He conversed freely of political issues and world affairs. He listened politely as I shared with him my faith in Jesus Christ and the difference He has made in my life.
Near the end of the conversation he said, “I am glad that it has worked for you. I guess some people need faith as a crutch to help them through life.”
I have heard remarks like this many times from skeptics and those who are pretending to be. Frankly, it has always annoyed me. The audacity of someone to suggest that I need a crutch.
And then I found myself saying something I could not believe I was saying: “I agree. In eternity we will all need a crutch. None of us will stand on our own.”
The mental image of a crutch became so real to me and the Holy Spirit helped me to see the spiritual truth. It was not just a truth for my Jewish friend. It was for me.
I am crippled. We all are. Crippled by sin.
Without Someone to lean on not one of us could ever stand before a holy God. That’s why Jesus came. Only He can stand in His own righteousness. I can only stand by leaning on Him.
Perhaps this is what Elisha Hoffman was thinking when he wrote:
What have I to dread, what have I to fear, leaning on the everlasting arms? I have blessed peace with my Lord so near, leaning on the everlasting arms.
Read the Old Testament story of David and Mephibosheth in 2 Samuel chapter 9. I am Mephibosheth. I am the crippled boy, belonging to the family that is an enemy of the King. That’s my story. But Jesus Christ, like David, showed me love. He brought me into His own family! He brought me to His own table! I am still a cripple, but I am leaning on His mercy and grace.
The cynics say that Christianity is a crutch for the weak. They are not so wrong. We are all weak. Christ is the only crutch that is strong enough to lean on. Some people realize that in this life; the rest will find out in eternity.