If you are struggling with depression or know of someone who is, please read this tender yet honest sermon from Chris Erdman about the death of his friend and Pastor Jamie Evans. I knew Jamie as a child as his parents were and still are dear friends of my parents. His father, Louis Evans Jr., now deceased, was also my pastor at National Presbyterian Church in Washington D.C., the one who taught me to have a love for God that is still strong within me.
I have nothing but fond memories of Jamie as he would often pick my brother and I up to attend youth functions at our church. He was always so full of energy and life, so much fun to be around. In fact, my first motorcycle ride, much to the dismay of my parents, was on the back of his bike.
This wonderfully written sermon is a testimony to Jamie’s life and struggles with ADHD, dyslexia and depression. It reminds us of the importance of treating mental illness and not pretending everything is OK when it is not. It is well worth your time to read.
When is the last time you had a date with God? Shamefully, I could not remember mine. Sure I carve out bits and pieces of my day for Him, but when is the last time I dedicated an entire day or even part of the day for Him? Not to be sack-religious or disrespectful but church does not count as a date in my mind. Yes going to church and fellowshipping with other believers is vitally important to the Christian life, in fact without it, we become like dull knives, for “iron sharpens iron”. But church sometimes deludes us into thinking we have a relationship with God when really all we have is an acquaintance.
Think about it this way. What if I told you that in order for you and your spouse to become close to each other you need to spend time with other people who all have spouses? Would you think I had lost my mind? Of course! Yes spending time with other couples is important for very different reasons such as accountability, fellowship, sharing, and teaching. But if all of your time is spent in the presence of others how do you really get to know each other? The answer is simple; you need to spend time together. You need to date each other even after you have been married and especially after you have had children. Intimacy is not a one time event, we are continually being perfected in our faith (hopefully) and as a result we are continually changing into the likeness of Jesus Christ. How then can we assume to know everything about each other if we do not spend the necessary time together?
How much more does your Heavenly Father want to know you? He knows you are changing, He knows the challenges in your life, He understands the struggles up ahead, and He wants to be part of watching you grow. Just like a parent enjoys the pleasure of watching an infant go from crawling to walking and takes pride in the graduation of a high school student. Your Heavenly Father enjoys watching you! Yes the infant struggles to walk, even falls down but if as the parent you were not there when the infant fell, how could you comfort them? How can God comfort you if He is not already there?