Christmas Article: Our Cry For Help: Breathe On Us

I saw a cry for help in someone's front yard. I saw a sign that said "Lost dog. Please return here." A couple days later, I saw a second sign that said, "She's home. Thanks!"

I can imagine the horror that the pet owners must have felt when they could not find their dog. They may have seen visions of their beloved pet at the side of the road, with no breath of life left in its bloodied body.

They were filled with such joy when they found their lost dog, that they wanted to share their joy with the whole world. So they put up the "She's home. Thanks!" sign to celebrate. Many people who saw the second sign (but not the first) were confused and could not understand why anyone had cause to celebrate. But that did not stop the pet owners from wanting to share their joy.

Christians are like the pet owners who lost their dog and then found it. To become a Christian, we had to send out a cry for help. We had to put up a sign saying, "Lost soul. Please return here." Jesus saw our first sign, our cry for help. And He rescued our souls (from the hands of Satan) and helped us put up a second sign of joy and thanks.

Do our Christian signs confuse the unsaved? The unsaved may see our second sign of joy and thanks. They may see the joy in our lives that a right relationship with God brings. But unless we tell them about our first sign, they will never understand why we put up our second sign. We must explain to them our cry for help, and how Jesus answered that cry and took away our sins, bringing us joy and cause to celebrate.

When we were still unsaved, we were like the lost dog at the side of the road, with no breath of life left in our bloodied bodies. "For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one's life." (Lev 17:11) Jesus answered our first sign; His blood flows over us to wash away our sins. His blood gives us new life.

But in our busy world, we, as Christians, often neglect to put up our second sign of joy and thanks. So the world cannot see any difference in our lives than in anyone else's lives. What must we do to put up our second sign, our sign of joy and thanks? What stifles our joy?

Christ's blood has cleansed us from our sin. His blood has cured us of the cancer of sin. But what do you get when you take the sin out of a person without replacing that sin with joy? You get a Christian who may be sterilized and sanitized from the cancer of sin, but whose life is still pockmarked by the holes left by that cancer. What is missing? (Is 40:28ff)

If we are to see the joy of the Lord in our lives, we need the power of the Lord in our lives. (Rom 8) That power, the power to overcome Satan and to heal our scars, comes from the Holy Spirit. We need power to overcome Satan when he tempts us, or we will fall back into our old sinful ways. We need power to overcome Satan when he tries to thwart our efforts to serve the Lord. And we need comforted to take away the scars left by our sins and from living in a fallen world.

Allow the Holy Spirit to fill in and sand out those ugly, painful pockmarks left by sin. Let the Holy Spirit bring out the beauty in your spirit. Let the Holy Spirit bring out the joy in your soul. Let yourself be strengthened. And let yourself be healed. "the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being." (Gen 2:7)

If we are to put up our second sign, our sign of joy and thanks, we must allow the Holy Spirit to breathe into us God's breath. Let us all pray together, listen, and wait for God's Spirit.

"Dear Heavenly Father, teach us to pray. Our words and thoughts are not sufficient to reach you. Your words and thoughts are too vast for our minds to comprehend. We ask you to send the Holy Spirit to be a bridge between our spirits, and an interpreter between our minds.

When an infant speaks, he is comforted by the sound of his own voice. But he is merely babbling and knows not what he is saying. When we pray, we, too, are often guilty of merely babbling and know not what we are saying. Give to us your Spirit, your gift. Give to us the ability to communicate with you through your Word and through your Spirit. Let us listen to your voice. Let us be comforted by hearing and understanding your voice, not our own.

Dear God, hear our cry for help and breathe into our souls the breath of life. Send us your comfort. Your power. Your love. And your joy. Let the world see that we really do have cause to celebrate. In Christ's name we pray, Amen."

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