In The Nothing – May 9-13, 2023 (136-137/365)

Some of those who keep coming back to the service I hold say that they come back because they are spiritually fed. What we have is more than just lessons learned, or experiences remembered. In fact, all these fade before what we have, and what we enjoy – that is, Christ Himself.

It’s something we need considering that we pray a lot and we need to pray more. The Spirit prays whenever we couldn’t.

So it’s Saturday again, and here I am at church, just… letting it all out of my head in the hopes that something fresh comes in.

I’m frustrated, because in spite of all the writing I’ve been doing as of late, I don’t seem to have a grasp as to what to share to my people, this coming Sunday – or, well, tomorrow. And the fact that it’s tomorrow again is just disturbing me even more.

It’s a reflection of my awful time management – or, well, let’s just say that even after thirty-plus years of existence in this sweet, sour and salty reality, I’m still a stranger to good tactics of making the most of my time.

And it’s not like I’m a good manager of my money, either. I’m still as impulsive as I used to be… and you can call it a saving grace, but it’s more like a failsafe that I have this fear of totally losing it all, especially now that I have far less in my savings than I’ve had, oh, 5-7 years ago.

And you’d think I’d be maintaining my expenses. You’d think I’d say stuff like, I need to tighten my belt – but that’s the thing. I can’t, because I seem to have gained back all the weight I was proud of losing, oh, some 5 years ago as well.

Feels as if I’m on a sinking ship, whose name is Old Glory.

Is it a season, then, of transition? I mean, I could focus on all these losses in the wrong places (time and money), and gains in the wrong places (weight and stress), and be downright miserable as the rest of the world – I mean, that seems to be the trend, anyway.

But no, I am aware of a reason to keep on going – well, and it’s not as if I wasn’t aware of this reason in the past. Let’s just say I was reminded. Considering all that’s happening at present, with regards to the ministry and all the time I’m needing to throw in to stay constant in content creation (and I’m doing a pretty miserable job at that, to be honest), I was reminded. Considering all that’s to happen in the weeks and months to come – new businesses launching, old businesses revived, and plans of celebrations and travels that have to happen in spite of the need to be hands on in said businesses – I was reminded.

I was reminded, that is, of what Paul said in his letter to the Philippians:

I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. Philippians 1:23-24

I know I have Christ, both in this… challenging reality, and in the realms beyond the universe(s) as we know them, beyond time and space; And if I stay focused on the challenges of the present and in what’s to come, well, it’s easy for me to just want to be done with all of this. But Paul said, it’s for the Philippians, it’s for everyone else besides him that he stays in the flesh.

While I was looking for this particular verse, I don’t think it was an accident that I typed in ‘for your sake’ on the search bar of the OliveTree app. For our sake, let me pull up what else I found besides that verse I wanted (which I found using another search string ‘live is Christ’, upon remembering that the same verse was… nearby):

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written,

For your sake we are being killed all the day long;

we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.Romans 8:35-39

The way I see this verse, considering all that’s on my mind right now, is that we endure tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, danger, and/or sword; We are killed all the day long, as sheep to be slaughtered, for the sake of the church. We subject our all, for the sake of the body of Christ; We lose for you to win.

But yet, are we really losing? The thing is, we’d give so much of ourselves, down to our time, our money, our figure, and our sanity – we’d give all for you to win, but that isn’t the entire picture; For see, even before we set off to lay our lives down for the brethren, we have already been raised up, we ourselves have already won. We traverse this uncertainly anxious and anxiously uncertain world complete with its victories and defeats, pouring everything out of our beings for the sake of those within our influence – we lose ourselves willingly, because we know that through Christ’s death and resurrection, the war for our beings has already been won, absolutely and completely, now and forever.

The Christ whom the enemy thought defeated in the most humiliating and in the most excruciating of fashions was actually hoisted up in victory. His beaten body was actually glorified on the cross – just as the Israelites in the time of Moses looked at the bronze serpent to be healed of poison from snakes, so those who looked at the Son of Man were delivered from the death of sin.

As Christ lay all down for our sake, so we are able to lay all down for the sake of the brethren.

All the low-key frustration and anxiety I expressed in this here set of words… well, it’s still around, but that just means I have all the more reason to cry out to the Lord, who did not think twice about laying Himself down to save us.

There’s a formula I’ve followed for a while now, that I seem fond of telling people; That is, if you’re having trouble doing x towards others, remember how Christ did x towards you.

If you’re having trouble loving others/yourself, remember how Christ loves you.

If you’re having trouble forgiving others/yourself, remember how Christ forgives/forgave you.

If you’re tired of giving to others/yourself, remember how Christ gave/gives to you.

Applies to a lot of things, I’ve noticed: Comfort, listening and paying attention, grieving with others, rebuking, correcting.

And sure, I guess that’s somewhere I could run to now. But well, if I’m being honest… I do feel a little burned out.

So I guess – if I’m having trouble handling being burned out, I ought to remember how Christ handled it for me.

Just as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were joined by a Fourth Man in the middle of a furnace made seven times hotter than usual – So Christ is with me, here and now. As time and money and my sanity… As all of me is just being burned away by this barbecue grill that knows no emotions, well… it’s in the more that I lose that I see the more Christ has won. How do I know this? Well.. He’s. Still. Here.

With me He stays, and with Him I shall remain.

It’s around this time I could go ahead and say something, like on top of the truth of God’s faithfulness, demonstrated by Christ’s finished work and proven/enjoyed by the enduring presence of the Holy Spirit – that is:

As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good.

2 Thessalonians 3:13

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. Galatians 6:9-10

Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

1 Corinthians 15:58

So it seems I’m covered on both ends. I recognize Christ as the Source of our movement (as we see in the ‘formula’ of as Christ does to us, so we do). These verses seem to point out that Christ is also the Destination of our movement – He is the Harvest. He is the reason our labor is not in vain. In fact, I venture to consider that in light of this, He is faithful to cause all things to work for the good of the body of Christ.

So I should feel good and ready, right?


Sure doesn’t feel like it, to be honest. And sure, I could go ahead and just say, that it’s not about my feelings to begin with, but, well… All of it just feels like it sucks right now.

And sure, I could go ahead and ’embrace the suck’, exactly how Mr. Art Schvartsberg (more popularly known as the Iron Wolf) would share to his followers as he forces them to do countless burpees.

I wish I could just stop time and rest. Recover. Meditate to my heart’s delight. Learn. Improve. At the snap of a finger, I’d be ready. Or at least, psyched out – just as Office Space’s Peter Gibbons asked the good occupational hypnotherapist to – his words – ‘zonk’ him.

At the onset of this verbal blah I mentioned how I – how WE, in the body of Christ – I mentioned how we have more than just routine, more than just mindset, more than just habit, doctrine, community – I mentioned how we all have no less than Christ Himself. I also mentioned that though I understand the power of prayer, I appreciate how the Holy Spirit prays for us, and with us.

What actually makes me feel better through all this, here and now, is the fact that even if I am complaining and making it all open for the world to see, well – even in these moments of defeat, in these moments of weakness, dryness, and just feeling nothing… Even in these words, I have Christ, and Christ has me.

The comedic genius JP Sears shared some gold in that one line he had – ‘feel your freakin’ feelings’… Well, I’m taking this moment, here and now, to feel them. I feel blah. I feel meh. I feel like nothing is happening while everything around is moving. I feel as if I’m losing, even with all the efforts I make to gain. I feel I have myself to blame.

Rampant condemnation, a rapid descent, a downward spiral; I’m feeling it all, if only to recognize, if only to see that the only Light that there is, the only Solution that presents itself is no less than Christ – Christ, who is my Light, and my Salvation. I’m feeling it all, if only to see that the only strength that matters, the only power that there is, is Christ; My Strength, and my Life – Christ, the Strength of my Life.

Indeed, whom shall I fear, and whom shall I be afraid? If all I get from all of this is Christ, then I haven’t wasted my words. If all I get is Christ, then I haven’t wasted my time.

All the same, thank you for reaching this far.

I have no idea as to how to proceed.

I have nothing more to say.

Until the next post, God bless you.

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