It was just a cold. The first day I lost my voice and sneezed a lot. The second day I started coughing, a deep cough that felt like it scraped the bottom of my lungs. The third day I started wheezing and my temperature rose over 100. The fourth day the headache started. The fifth day my shoulders, neck, and back began aching and I could not get comfortable no matter how or where I lay or sat. The sixth day it climbed into my head. I could no longer breathe, smell, or taste. The seventh day I lost my hearing and my ears began to ache. Meanwhile, all the other symptoms continued. The eighth day my temperature fell a degree below normal, but I felt a little better—very little. Eventually it did go away, but the cough lingered for weeks. Why in the world do we always say, “It was just a cold?”
Maybe it’s habit.
“I was just ten minutes late.”
“I was just ten miles over the speed limit.”
“It was just a song service.”
“It was just a little fib.”
“I was just so tired and frustrated.”
“It was just this once.”
Always excusing ourselves with that little word, making every bad judgment call or “little” sin unimportant—where does it stop? How big do they have to be before we stop using that word?
What could God have said about us? David knew full well when he said in the 8th Psalm, What is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? Indeed, God could have said, “They’re just people. Why bother?” and we would have had no answer for that, especially the way we so often use that word to rationalize less than stellar behavior.
Yet Jehovah, the Word, and the Spirit got together before they made anything else, and came up with a plan so that they could keep fellowship with men, no matter how sinful they had become. That plan involved sacrifice on their parts, but it made men once again presentable to them. For some reason, they thought we were worth it.
Think about that the next time you try to excuse yourself with that word “just.”
I give you thanks, O LORD, with my whole heart; before the gods I sing your praise. I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word. On the day I called, you answered me; my strength of soul you increased. All the kings of the earth shall give you thanks, O LORD, for they have heard the words of your mouth, and they shall sing of the ways of the LORD, for great is the glory of the LORD. For though the LORD is high, he regards the lowly, but the haughty he knows from afar. Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and your right hand delivers me. The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands. Psa 138.