40 years in the desert leads to sunburn itch.

If I could learn anything in the world. From History, Math, Science to how to fly a plane or how to get girls to like me. I'd pick the Gospel. If I could know the Gospel, the true Gospel, but not just know it, but have it engrained into my heart and being. I think everything else I do would fall into place so much better.

 

I can repeat the Gospel and I believe in in theory at pretty much every moment of my life. But in action, I don't always understand or fully believe it. Usually when I start to doubt it is the moments I need it most: after I sin.

 

So I think, since a lot of people assume the Gospel, I think I should define the Biblical Gospel. There are a lot of ways of explaining it, because the Bible is filled with analogies of the Gospel, but currently, my favorite is the Story of the Exodus of Israel. They were in slavery, they had no way of escape on their own, God sent someone to save them and lead them out of slavery, and even though they often forgot what they were saved from or why they were saved, they even longed to be slaves again because the journey was too hard. That generation ended up dying in the desert and the new generation saw the promised land. Basically, that story that God gave us is to point to the Gospel. In our bondage, God sent Jesus to lead us out of slavery and into the promised land, in the times of our journey we go back to our slavery, because we forget about how miserable it made us, the journey leads us to death, death of our old self and our new self walks into the promised land.

 

Basically, when I forget what Jesus has saved me from and brought me from, I easily go back to the very thing I dreaded, the very thing I was saved out of.

 

Usually when I do stumble in one area, I try to make it up in so many other areas. I try to cover up my bad deeds with more good deeds. (Even though the Bible says that if righteousness could be obtained by our efforts, then Christ died for nothing).

 

I then start to get exhausted trying to make up for my wrongs with more rights. Because for some reason, all my good intentions and good deeds don't seem to scratch that itch.

 

Then it starts seeping into my day to day life. I have a strong itch that needs to be scratched and I try to ignore it. With checking social networks, watching movies, playing video games, hanging out with friends, watching youtube videos, eating. All fine things, but the amount or reason I partake shows me my heart.

 

I've once heard that one of the reasons Christians should fast is so we don't cover up our longings with food or whatever else. I'm certainly not a glutton and I don't even need to stuff myself, but sometimes I eat just because. Food is comforting, even if we eat normally in a way that doesn't fall under how we usually envision 'comfort food'. I'm not eating chocolate ice cream and watching lifetime. But I am eating pita and hummus while watching a movie, when I'm not particularly hungry.

 

Another way it bleeds into my life is that I work from home. I work at a computer when I'm not out filming, which most of my work is at my computer desk. I start to feel so overwhelmed with trying to scratch that itch, but I can't. I keep trying to be "good enough" to make myself "presentable before God" so I pressure myself in being productive, maybe my good deeds aren't gonna do this alone, I need to be successful and productive and then God will want me on His team. So I start overwhelming myself with deeds, then now work that a normal work day turns into just clicking refresh on sites and emails. Trying to ignore the itch. '

 

Around this time last year, I got a horrible sun burn on my back. Like horrible. To set this up right, I should mention that I've had sunburns in my life that have made me pass out, one time I went to Mexico and got sunburn so bad that the skin in my ears peeled so bad that I don't want to get into details, I've had sunburns that have made people remember my name the next time they saw me at summer camp, etc. I do put on sunscreen, but the minute I forget, it's horrible. Anyway, last year was one of those times where I forgot. For the first time in all my history of sunburns I got what they call sunburn itch. It was horrible. Just search Youtube for sunburn itch if you want to get an idea. I've broken ribs, arms, my nose, gotten stitches and this was the worst pain, because it was more annoying and agonizing then something you could sleep off or comfort by holding. The worst thing about it was that if I tried to itch it, it'd feel amazing for as long as I kept itching. The minute I stopped it'd be way worse and the pain would be horrible. If I was walking and something brushed against it, it'd make me want to keep itching until my skin came off.

 

The scary thing about our sin and lack of understanding of the Gospel is that it's possible to itch that scratch with comfort or just ignoring it. When we stop, that's when we realize that it didn't help, but it just made it worse. So we try other ways to scratch that itch. But our attempts could seriously damage our skin. (That's as far as that analogy goes).

 

Basically, I just knew the Gospel in my heart more, I'd run to God instead of from Him when I failed. That itch would be scratched and I wouldn't waste my time and energy running from Him. Ignoring Him or hiding from Him. Forgetting that He loved me when I was a sinner. Not when I was perfect. I wouldn't waste my days trying to make myself presentable, but realize that Jesus has already made me presentable before God and I can just come to Him. I would see Him smiling on me, excited to hear from me. Instead of me trying to wait until I gather my thoughts or after I have written down an amazing prayer to explain my actions. But to just say "I'm sorry for forgetting that you love me, for forgetting what you've brought me out of and trying to go back to Egypt".

 

your friend,

 

-Isaac