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COVID-19 How to live in uncertain times
(34 - Jesus, Strong and Kind)

Ben Naylor, 24th April 2020

See part 1 of this series here.

Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.’ John 4:13-14

A song I have been enjoying in recent weeks is ‘Jesus, Strong and Kind’ by CityAlight. Where can we go when we thirst, when we are weak, when we fear? The only place we can go is to the Lord Jesus.

It is this combination of Jesus both strong and kind that has fascinated me. A strong Jesus, who is not kind is a tyrannical ruler. A kind Jesus who is not strong is impotent. He must be both, or else he is not the Jesus of the Bible.

I think, perhaps, the idea of a strong Jesus is alien to our culture. But it is something we must hold to tightly. If we was only kind then why would we approach him, he has no power to do anything. If he is truly strong then he is terrifying to approach, but if he is also kind then we can approach with confidence.

I find this quote from C.S. Lewis’ ‘The Silver Chair’ so helpful in feeling what it would be like to approach a strong Jesus. The lion Aslan, the Christ figure in the Narnia books, stands over a stream of water which Jill must go to for a drink:

‘“Are you not thirsty?" said the Lion.
"I am dying of thirst," said Jill.
"Then drink," said the Lion.
"May I — could I — would you mind going away while I do?" said Jill.
The Lion answered this only by a look and a very low growl. And as Jill gazed at its motionless bulk, she realized that she might as well have asked the whole mountain to move aside for her convenience.
The delicious rippling noise of the stream was driving her nearly frantic.
"Will you promise not to — do anything to me, if I do come?" said Jill.
"I make no promise," said the Lion.
Jill was so thirsty now that, without noticing it, she had come a step nearer.
"Do you eat girls?" she said.
"I have swallowed up girls and boys, women and men, kings and emperors, cities and realms," said the Lion. It didn't say this as if it were boasting, nor as if it were sorry, nor as if it were angry. It just said it.
"I daren't come and drink," said Jill.
"Then you will die of thirst," said the Lion.
"Oh dear!" said Jill, coming another step nearer. "I suppose I must go and look for another stream then."
"There is no other stream," said the Lion.’

Of course, we know Aslan is terrifyingly powerful, but also tender and kind. As we read that story we urge Jill to just go, not to fear. It seems crazy that she doesn’t go. He is a Lion, but he is kind and her thirst shall be quenched. Do you go to Jesus? Isn’t it crazy not to? We urge Jill to go, but are slow to go ourselves.

How terrifying to approach a strong Jesus, but how wonderful that he is kind.

During these strange and testing times, we hope to post encouragement for you here each day. As ever, if you would like to speak with a Minister, please get in touch through our contact us page.