These last couple of weeks I’ve been singing again…. And it’s been uncomfortably freeing.
So, allow me to explain why Jesus sounds like Mr. Stapleton to my “hot-mess self”…
You might be thinking, “What in the wide world of weird are you talking about Nikki? How can you hear anything about Jesus through Chris Stapleton?”
And my short and simplest answer would be...
Because I’m looking for Him.
Jesus met me in some of my most painful moments with Chris Stapleton’s song, “Tennessee Whiskey”.
A verse that spoke in to my heart on some of the most difficult moments was this:
“I’ve looked for love in all the same old places
Found the bottom of a bottle always dry
But when you poured out your heart I didn’t waste it
‘Cause there’s nothing like your love all the time”
-Tennessee Whiskey, C. Stapleton
The nights my pain was too much to bare, I leaned heavier on bourbon than Jesus. Those nights helped in the moment but left me with guilt and a fairly large headache.
The difference between bourbon and Jesus? Jesus doesn’t leave me empty and needing more to mask the pain, He comforts and fills me with peace.
My heart grieved the loss of its innocence at such a young age and in such a traumatic way. Processing my attack caused me to feel again, which was healing, but it hurt more than I could bare at times.
Psalm 139:7-8 tells us, “Where shall I go from your spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!”
I’ve made my bed in Sheol many nights in my life, but Jesus met me there… and He poured out His heart in ways that only He knew I would be able to hear Him. There was nowhere I could go or any amount of bourbon I could drink that would turn His love away from me.
He continually shows up.
At times when I’m sad, He looks a lot like a lumber jack, sounds like Chris Stapleton, and smells like warm apple pie.
Other times, He makes me smile harder than Jim Gaffigan, cry cleansing tears with Lauren Daigle (girl can sang), and feel warmer than any glass of bourbon I’ve ever tasted. But He somehow always looks like a lumberjack... much like the hunk of a husband pictured above... (I guess He figures if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it… 😊)
I know, those are some pretty strange conglomerations of Jesus, but so was Ricky Bobby’s….and somehow, that worked for him….
“Dear Lord baby Jesus, lyin’ there in your ghost manger, just lookin’ at your Baby Einstein developmental videos, learnin’ ‘bout shapes and colors. I would like to thank you for bringin’ me and my mama together…”
-Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby
Ricky Bobby might’ve been joking, but the image of Will Ferrell praying to a Jesus that looks so different than the one I pray to made me realize that Jesus can and does look different to everyone, and that’s perfectly acceptable …😉
Even if his or my version seem a little strange…
Here’s the thing folks, my Jesus consistently shows up when I need Him. He doesn’t always look the same, but His truth does. He knows what I need and how I need it more than anyone, including myself.
He never has, nor will he ever, abandon, reject, or demean me. Instead, He loves, listens, and talks with me.
Where people and culture leave me wounded, He heals…
What does your Jesus look like?
A baby looking at developmental videos, Chris Stapleton holding warm apple pie, or something completely different? ‘Cause I’m here to tell you- He will individualize His words and presence to each and every one of us, no matter how strange it seems to others. If you seek Him, He’ll show up in a way that will speak specifically to YOU and where ever you’re at in life.
Happy Hump day guys… Friday’s right around the corner…
Me and Chris Stapleton Jesus