February 16th – Ephesians 4:13 – First Friday of Lent

13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. — Ephesians 4:13

The signature I held on my emails for a while included my mantra:

“Computing Through Christ” because
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

I did not know how prophetic my email signature would turn out to be.

Since Dec. 17th, 2016, I have experience a major life struggle, a disease with no name that can leave me wishing to die to escape the agony and frustration of what my body becomes.  It has been through Christ that I have been able to maintain what little resemblance of sanity that I have left.

Originally, Ephesians 4:13 was my spiritual answer to the accusations of my co-workers that I seemed to have super-human abilities allowing me to stay with an issue for 36-hours at a time, with no rest.  They would call me a “beast.”  The truth of the matter is that I absolutely loved problem solving and was energized by the many conundrums presented by a network containing in excess of 20,000 endpoints spread out over a couple regions of a state.

I began using it as the mantra of the St. Matthew’s Episcopal Technology Guild, which I founded.  Our mission is, basically, get God’s Word out from St. Matthew’s to the Internet.  In this process, we have made quite a bit of strides.  Ultimately, they were all but destroyed by the rapid surfacing of my enigmatic disability.

Let’s look at the first part of the quote:  “I can do all things through Christ.”

Here, the Bible gives us a choice.  We can either do things through Christ, or not.  Choosing to do things through Christ reminds me that my intentions must attempt to emulate the Path of Jesus, the best I can.  I know that I am a flawed human.  I sin, and am capable of harboring darkness.  But, “through Christ,” I can have positive motivations which are selfless and kind.  Ultimately, for the good of others, I can produce results that will show people that I love them and I wish them well.

“Who strengthens me”

Ah.  I couldn’t have survived this last year without this statement.  This disease has proven too much for me to bare.  Throughout my life, there were times that I enjoyed celebrating my Christianity.  I don’t think I really thought I needed Christ in my life.  It was a feel-good thing that I kept close to me.  I rarely talked about my spirituality as to not offend anyone.  I have had continuing conversations with dear friends that are not of the Christian faith.  I admire their dedication and righteousness in their spirituality.  However, Christ is my spiritual guide and he gives me strength to survive another day.  To make it to the next minute.

Laying on the table on September 7th, 2017, I was encompassed in light.  I was shown terror.  Then, I was touched by His presence and was made warm.

Many other things happened during that event.  Both, in the physical and ethereal realms.  The most important feeling I was given was that “He strengthens me.”  I owe my life, my being to the Trinity.

When in crisis, sometimes you try to take it one day at a time, an hour, a minute or a breath.  This tortuous disease occasionally contorts my muscles leaving me severely limited for days at a time.  It is during these periods that “Who strengthens me” strikes the chorus.  I know through Christ, I am given strength to make it through the torment.  The waters will be calmed, and this too shall pass.  Breathing is difficult when your entire abdominal wall is knotting.  Stopping your limbs from flinging dogs off your legs are impossible (and rather an amazing sight.)  However, Faith in Christ gives me the strength to make it through.  To take that next breath.  To live another day to do His bidding.

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Taking the statement in its entirety, it beckons you to have faith, not only in Christ, but also, in yourself.  I know that I will achieve things deemed impossible, through Christ’s strength.  I can and will survive.  I can and will produce things that others will enjoy. It is my wish and desire to leave this world a better place for others than I received it.  It is through Christ, that I can make this happen.  Since the beginning, there has been only one set of footprints in the sand.  Many times, they have been considerably deeper than other times.

Of all the phrases in the Bible, this one strikes me the hardest.  It remarks to me to be dedicated to Christ, and yourself.  When taken in conjunction with old adage “Where there is a will, there is a way,” the message I receive tells me that if your will is in Christ, you will find a way.

Enjoy your journey.  I am enjoying mine.

Have a very good day.  Keep the faith.

In Christ,

Jay C. “Jazzy_J” Theriot