Karl Marx said that religion is the opiate of the people. And you know what? Maybe he was right.
As I sit here on this beautiful Sunday, breeze blowing, birds singing, flowers dancing in the wind, I am grateful for the drug of Jesus. With all the beauty and wonder of the world, and it is great, there is still so much pain and despair. I hear about a family of young children that have lost their parents; I’m reminded of a friend who is going through a terrible, painful divorce; I think of my mother in law fighting a battle with a disease that plans to take her life. This is what it means to be human. These are the things that make up this earthly life.
And who wouldn’t want some sort of drug to help relieve that kind of pain? Something that could make it sting a little less. I admit that I could be totally wrong about my faith, but here’s the thing: I find comfort in (the idea of) a loving God that holds all of my tears in the palm of His hand, in a God that loves me so tremendously that He paints a sunrise and sunset for me every day, that already knows my tomorrows and is just standing there waiting for me to arrive, and that left me written words describing His love, offering me hope and a promise of something better.
To find joy in the midst of these kinds of human experiences, I’m not sure I could do it if not for faith. When I have a moment of being totally overwhelmed and I say “I can’t do this,” only to hear a still small voice say “you’re right; you can’t do this- not in your own strength, but you can in mine.”, I know that I can go on. There is power and joy and comfort in responding to that call. To hearing those words, believing them, and then finding yourself doing something you had believed beyond you. Ah, the hit of the drug that is the power of God, to feel your veins fill with the presence of the Holy Spirit.
That, that, Marx, is a feeling that I would not trade. Call me a junkie; tell me I’m weak minded and strung out; I don’t care. The love of Jesus, the peace and comfort of a Father, the promise that this is not my home, these are the things that make my human experience not just tolerable but joyful.
I grieve for the children that lost their parents; I ache for my friend whose marriage was broken; and I hurt for the suffering of my mother-in-law, but I know that it’s only temporary. This world, these bodies, all the pain, they will not last forever. It will be overcome. And then, when MY time has come, the greatest high of all- eternity with the Risen King.
Eat your heart out Karl Marx.