I was listening to the Rolling Stones’ song “Gimme Shelter” and was rocked by the lyrics I’ve heard so many times before, “War, Children, is just a shot away. Oh, a storm is threatening my very life today. If I don’t get some shelter, oh yeah, I’m gonna fade away.”
There’s A Storm Building
At any given moment we feel the full weight of these lyrics in our lives. There’s a storm building. We might know where it is, where it’s coming from. We might not. It may come on as a complete surprise and do some real damage. The other shoe may drop. Our job may be terminated, out-sourced. Our wife may tell us the marriage has been over for a while, or maybe that she’s been unhappy for a long time. Our kids may start slipping at school, crying on their way home, acting isolated and snarky.
We might find out someone we love is sick. It may turn out to be us. It might hit even closer to home. We might find out something we didn’t want to know. We might share something someone else didn’t need to know. Our alignment might be off and we do something out of anger that we can never take back.
Or worse, we do it intentionally. We might get swept away by a tidal wave of pornography, alcohol, addiction, dishonesty, fear, frustration, adultery, shame, guilt…
War, Children, Is Just A Shot Away.
I’ve talked to several men who feel like they have to fix all that before they engage Jesus in the life he has given them. I’ve talked to men who won’t darken the door of the church because they don’t believe they’re “fit” to.
No one is.
No one. Really!
There is no way that we can became fixed and fit, either. Not on our own.
Jude begins his greeting [Jude 1:1] saying that the reader, which at the moment is you, is three things:
3. Kept Safe
These things are very different from angry, addicted and adversarial, aren’t they? Jesus doesn’t apply those kinds of labels; not to those who follow after him – however imperfectly. To you, the Lord God King of the Universe says, that you are chosen and invited, valued and respected, protected and favored.
Called, loved and kept safe.
Sit with that for a minute.
I’ll unpack this on the upcoming Tuesdays With Jude™. Until then, ponder this question and please leave a comment below. What is the difference between how you think of you and how God thinks of you?