Man has invented some pretty cool things — the light bulb, the internet, and the iPhone for instance. Yet, no matter what we do, we cannot create life. Only God can do that. So, how do we receive life from God? How do we, like the dry bones found in Ezekiel, get a fresh breath of life? In order to do that, we need to:
Do we really find life in the gospel? Does it stand strong when times get hard?
Megan shared a beautiful story about her ninety five year old Grandma who was to be a bridesmaid in Megan’s wedding. Megan asked her in August and in September, Grandma had a stroke. As Megan headed to school to teach that day, not knowing whether or not Grandma would be okay, she was broken. As she looked out at her students, she threw her notes to the side and asked the pointed question: “Does the gospel really give you life? It is strong enough to hold you during hard times?”
The students remained speechless, looking down at their desks, not able to truly articulate the effect of the gospel on their lives.
However, after the students filed out of the classroom, they started writing emails to Megan. Emails of confession… one student struggles with people pleasing and can’t embrace her identity in Christ… one can’t break free of addiction even though he intellectually know that God will free him. The emails continued and it was apparent that these students were so busy running from this to that to this in order to try to grasp a breath of life. They need to:
Too often, we find ourselves running, carrying the burden of our sins here and there, simply getting tired.
Let’s take a minute to imagine a class exercise Megan experienced with her students….
The students were all assembled outside. White t-shirts were handed out and students were encouraged to write their sins on the backs of the shirts. They were handed rocks and heavy backpacks to represent the burden of sin and told to RUN up a nearby hill. Megan and her colleagues stood at the base of the hill, yelling “Run harder! Try harder! You can do it!” The students ran up the hill and then back down. Up the hill and back down… carrying the burden of sin. This continued for fourteen minutes and the students didn’t stop. They didn’t protest, they just kept running. Finally, a preassigned person, designated to represent God began walking the hill, whispering to the students. ”Why are you running?” he asked. One girl stopped and said, “Because they told us to.” God responded, “Don’t you know about my son? About what I have done?” In a sudden moment of clarity, the girl’s eyes lit up as she realized, “I’m free! I can leave these sins!” She readily accepted the grace God was extended to her, but she didn’t stop there. She turned around and shouted to her classmates, “They lied to us! You don’t have to carry those! Stop running!” Her friends didn’t stop, so she ran to one, grabbed her arm and dragged her to the God representative. She continued in this way and soon all the classmates were free.
We can receive that same freedom. We don’t have to keep running. We don’t have to keep carrying those burdens.
I have to admit, it was hard to take notes during Megan’s talk because I was leaned in the whole time, listening intently. Her lesson was beautiful and touching and so meaningful. I hope a video is soon available on the Tru website, because it’s something you will definitely want to check out.
P.S. Grandma ended up being okay and was a bridesmaid in Megan’s wedding!
Megan Fate Marshman is the Director of Development and Production for TRU at David C Cook and also serves as Director of the Women’s Ministry at Hume Lake Christian Camps. It is Megan’s passion to communicate the gospel and empower others to do the same.