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There Was Jesus

Written by Noah Ross

I didn’t always listen to country music, but my relationship with my wife quickly changed that.  When we were dating, we would text videos, podcasts, and music back and forth that we learned from, that impacted us, and that we enjoyed.  One of these songs that my wife sent to me was the song, “There was Jesus” by Dolly Parton and Zach Williams.  This song has a somber and emotional feel to it.  It talks about the highs and lows of life that we all go through, but there is one message that the song comes back to repeatedly.  The fact that in all times, in all situations, we can all cling to the reality that Jesus is there with us. 

The first time in my life that I had to lean on the reality of Jesus being with me was in the sixth grade.  This year was very hard for me as I transferred from a Christian school where I was comfortable and quite sheltered to a public school where I heard and saw things that I did not know much about, but I knew were not godly things to partake in.  During this year, my shelter was the church, and my comfort was the Word of God.  I ran to Him again and again in my fear and anxiety.  Even in the struggle of my sixth-grade year…There was Jesus

My sixth-grade year felt very dark at the time, but it did not compare to the darkness that I faced in my sophomore year of college.  During my sophomore year, I was in an unhealthy relationship where I took on the struggles of my significant other to try to understand what she was going through.  What this led to was my first experience with depression.  I remember struggling to wake up at times during this year and having an even harder time getting out of bed, let alone trying to function like a normal human being.  Eventually, this depression got bad enough that it led me to even consider taking my own life.  One night in a bunk bed at my parents’ house I was having these suicidal thoughts again, but something very different took place on this night.  On this night, everything that was gray and dull about life over the past year snapped into color, joy, and thankfulness for the life that I had been given.  Even in the darkness of depression…There was Jesus.   

Though the darkness of depression had been lifted, I still felt that I needed to leave the college that I had attended while going through all of this.  I needed a change of scenery to go along with the new me.  So, I decided to go to the Christian college near where my family lived.  While attending this school, I was required to take a class called Foundations of Christian Thought.  In this class, we talked about something called Sacred-Secular-Dualism.  This is essentially the thought that there are things that are sacred and things that are secular and that there is a very firm dividing line between the two.  For example, a Sacred-Secular-Dualist might hold that being an engineer is an inherently secular job, but that being a pastor is of course a sacred job.  However, this class spoke against this way of thought.  It spoke of how everything is sacred.  It really helped me see and experience the reality that we can “taste and see that the Lord is good (Ps 34:8)”, in everything that we do.  Truly, there was a sacred essence to life itself that my eyes were opened to after this class…There was Jesus.

This sacred essence to life of course did not mean that I would avoid trials and tribulations for the rest of my Christian journey.  Recently, I have been wrestling with who I was and who I am in Christ today.  I have had a hard time understanding where I was, and I have a lot of shame associated with the sins of my past.  I have had a hard time resting in the reality that I am not a boy tossed back and forth by the winds of the world, but instead am a man after God’s own heart that is rooted in the Rock of Ages.  This is where I sometimes find myself, and I know that even if I don’t feel it all the time that I will one day look back at this season and be able to say…There was Jesus.  

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