Barclay here –
Did you ever see the 1979 movie, The Jerk? There’s a VERY funny scene when a distraught Steve Martin wearing just a bathrobe is leaving his wife (Bernadette Peters).
“Well I’m gonna go then.” he yells. “And I don’t need any of this. I don’t need this stuff, and I don’t need you. I don’t need anything except this!” He picks up an ashtray. “And that’s it and that’s the only thing I need, is this. I don’t need this or this. Just this ashtray.”
He glances down.
“And this paddle game, the ashtray and the paddle game and that’s all I need.”
He sees something on a nearby table. “And this remote control.”
The scene continues until he tries to take the dog. “And I don’t need one other thing… except my dog!” The dog looks at him and growls.
“I don’t need my dog.”
So what do WE need in our faith-walks?
My non-negotiable tenets of faith can be summed up in a made -up song from the toddler room at my church. It goes to the tune of London Bridge is Falling Down :
God made me and God loves me. God loves me. God loves me. God made me and God loves me. Jesus wants to be my friend forever. (If you sing it enough times, I guarantee it will get stuck in your brain. Probably forever. Not a bad thing!)
God made me. Psalm 139 says, “O Lord, you have searched me and known me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue, you know it completely.”
God loves me. Isaiah 43:4 says, “You are precious in my eyes and honored and I love you.”
Jesus wants to be my friend forever. Revelation 3:20 says, “Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.”
The very best thing about walking in faith is that when you endure trials. and you can’t even pray, the Spirit of God intercedes on your behalf. Romans 8:26 says that “The Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.”
October 31, 2018 was a day where I could not muster prayer. Our family was facing the “unimaginable” (a reference to the play Hamilton when Eliza and Alexander are mourning the death of their son.)
When you face the unimaginable, and you cannot pray, your very tears become prayers.
Now a year later, I can testify that God does hold your hand through the unimaginable, interpreting your wordless prayers. As Psalm 23 says, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for you are with me.”
“I made you. I love you. And I will be your friend forever.”
So like the Steve Martin character, I will clutch onto the tenets of my faith – promises from God that enable you to endure even the unimaginable. And bring beauty from ashes.
That’s all I need.
Today’s Takeaway –
-With age comes hardship – when prayers cannot muster words. Take heart that the Spirit of God carries your tears into the presence of God Himself.
-Joy and I do not anticipate wearing a gray bathrobe anytime soon! Much as we love Steve Martin! We are far too fashion forward!!
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Enjoy the ride!
xox Barclay and Joy