Have you ever listened to the song “Sad Beautiful Tragic” by Taylor Swift? As short as it is, the chorus of the song is surprisingly poignant:
“We had a beautiful magic love affair—what a sad, beautiful tragic love affair…”
Everyone who has ever walked this earth (except Jesus) has had one of these beautiful, tragic love affairs, and I don’t mean in a strictly bf-gf relationship sense like Swift does in the song. I mean that everyone has chased after something or someone that broke their heart, crushed their dreams, or promised fulfillment and didn’t deliver.
Not all elements of a love affair are necessarily awful, however. The passion that initially ignites it, for example, is a beautiful thing. Humans pursue passion and radiate obsession. And we should, because we were born for this: to be loved, and to love; to be obsessed; to be passionate. We were made to worship.
But we weren’t made to worship just anything or anyone.
We were made to worship the God Who calls Himself the First and the Last, the Ancient of Days, the Almighty! We were made to worship the God Who created all things.
That’s why it’s so tragic when we fall in love with something that is unworthy of receiving our greatest affection (such as money, cars, shoes/clothing, food); we weren’t made to worship those things. And while it’s perfectly acceptable to enjoy those things, sometimes we take the relationship too far by pouring all of our time, money, and effort into them. Instead of eating to live, we live to eat.
And it isn’t just things that we fall in love with that can consume us—we can also be consumed by our obsession of people (actors/superstars, family members, friends, bf/gf). It is not a terrible thing to admire, respect, and/or love people…but again, sometimes we get carried away and invest a lot of our energy into pleasing them or being more like them, etc.
Tragically, none of those things or people will, of themselves, ever be able to give us what we are desperately searching for in this world: pure, unconditional love. Love that won’t take us for granted when we try our best, or forsake us when we reveal our most protected thoughts, fears, and secrets. Love that accepts and delights in us for us, and nothing more. (Kind of like “She likes me for me! Not because…” but better.)
Sometimes, even if we know this is true, we just can’t seem to let go of the things holding us back from who or what’s really important…like the God we really love. Or the God we really want to love, but can’t, because to love Him would be to forsake what we already have, even if it isn’t working out as well as we’d hoped.
- Maybe that something we already have is security or comfort.
- Maybe it’s an addiction that we can’t let go of; the pain is too much, we honestly believe we can’t live without it. We need it in order to cope with our circumstances.
- Or maybe it’s simply the past that holds us back—the fear of having done something so terrible we could never be forgiven for it.
The world offers an illusion of security and comfort that will eventually disappear. Trials and sorrows will come, and if you trust in riches or manpower, you will be overcome....But if you trust in Jesus, you won’t ever be overcome (Matthew 7:24-27).
Jesus promises that He will never leave nor forsake us: “I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20); “He Himself has said: ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you’ ” (Hebrews 13:5).
Jesus also promises that all those who are weary will find rest in Him: “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:29).
**I have PTSD. I’m working through some serious escapism issues. His promise is true: I find rest in Him despite all my troubles, and He doesn’t forsake me despite the fact that sometimes I really feel He should ^_^’**
Joel 2:32 states that “Whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved” (also in Acts 2:21, Romans 10:13)—whoever. Not only the people who went to church, or who never lied, murdered, committed adultery, etc…whoever.
Anyone and everyone who “confesses with their mouth the Lord Jesus and believes in their heart that God has raised Him from the dead” shall be saved. Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, was sent to earth to live a sinless life; He gave His body and shed His blood for the forgiveness of sins; He died, was buried, and rose from the dead; and He lives forevermore, and will come again to judge the living and the dead. Amen!
Being a disciple is all about letting go of those beautiful, tragic love affairs that are holding you back from the Lover of your soul, Jesus Christ, and loving Him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.
Let 'em go.