I have a friend whose daughter started texting me occasionally. Since I am a pastor she sometimes texts me to tell me she read her Bible. When her family says a prayer before the meal she will sometimes text me to tell me. When her parents are cross with one another she texts me and asks me to pray for them. I am sure they didn’t know that.
One day she was not feeling well. She texted me and asked me to pray for her. She told me that she knew she would be better because she had asked Jesus to heal her. A few hours later I received another text from her. She said that even though she had prayed to Jesus she was feeling worse. A few hours later I received another text that simply said, “Jesus isn’t working.”
I think we have all felt like that at times. We ask Jesus for things and He doesn’t give them to us. We ask for the healing of bodies and relationships and lives. Sometimes it happens. Sometimes it doesn’t. We try really hard to do the right things and treat people the way we know we should and at times we get grief for our efforts. Sometimes Jesus just doesn’t work!
Of course, the biggest part of the problem is our understanding of Jesus. Too often faith in Christ is presented in the form of “what Jesus can do for you.” We are promised that if we will just say a prayer or make a commitment Jesus will go to work full time for us making sure we get what we want and that our lives are awesome. If we believe that is how it works then sooner or later we will be disappointed. Sooner or later we will discover that Jesus doesn’t work.
While a relationship with Jesus does change us and make our lives better and more beautiful than we imagined, being a follower of Jesus is not just about what He can do for us. It is about what we can do for Him. It is about following in His steps and loving the people He loves. Following Jesus is about serving, not being served. It is about loving Him, even when we don’t get what we want.
I have to admit there are times when I am disappointed that Jesus isn’t working for me. But, then I realize that’s not the point.