Whenever you’re feeling under the weather, take it from me and do not look up your symptoms on the Internet. Because chances are you’ll find out you’ve been dead for two days.
I thought I had a cold this morning, but I guess not. The Internet tells me something different. It obviously knows things about me before I do.
Our information is very “out there” these days. Our insides, outsides, past and present. People’s checkered pasts are just a few clicks away from catching up with them. That’s why I’m thankful my past isn’t all that checkered. I think it’s actually more…well, sort of like a happy plaid. Or a uniquely dyed houndstooth, maybe. It’s the kind of past that’s colorful, somewhat interesting, a little confusing—possibly a little dizzying.
A few decades ago, people talked about “finding yourself.” Nowadays when people talk about finding themselves, they’re usually talking about an exhaustive Google search. And I’m guessing it’s yet more disturbing when you search and don’t find yourself. How shocking to study yourself and find out that you’re probably not real. At least no one can steal your identity if you don’t have one.
Who knew? Well, besides the Internet.
Our real, forever-identity? It can’t be stolen. Or lost. Or Google-searched. And as wild as it seems, it can’t even die. We are who we are in, through and all because of Jesus. Paul said, “For in Him we live and move and exist…‘For we are also His offspring,’” (Acts 17:28, HCSB).
No need to do a dizzying search for our identity. We are who we are in Jesus. And in Him, there is, not death, but life! Living, moving, existing as His offspring—His beloved children!
“Look at how great a love the Father has given us that we should be called God’s children. And we are!” (1 John 3:1, HCSB). I love the paraphrase of that last sentence: “That’s who we really are!” (MSG).
Identity crisis? Not necessary. Who we really are is securely wrapped up, not in who we are at all, but in who Jesus is. Essentially, there are no checkered pasts. No striped, plaid or polka dot pasts. No houndstooth. The colorful beauty of the Gospel is that “He made the One who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him,” (2 Corinthians 5:21, HCSB). And, oh glorious thought, we never have to find ourselves. Our Savior finds us even before we know we need to be found. The work of salvation is all His, covering our off-colored pasts with the blood that makes us clean-white-righteous.
Just a few verses before, Paul reminds us of our “new” past. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come,” (2 Corinthians 5:17, HCSB).
He knows. Not like the Internet “knows.” It’s a real knowing. He knows us inside-out. The same power that saved us is the power that will influence, change, empower, work, teach, comfort, make new—whatever our need. We can trust Him to save. We can trust Him to know our real needs and meet them.
As for this cold? I’m not sure it’s all that big a deal. It’s probably just malaria. Because I looked it up on the Internet. It’s either that or colic.