By now, you would think I could have the more elementary things figured out in life, such as...
Being selfish doesn't make you happy.
No matter how much you gain or lose in life, true joy and contentment comes only from having Christ.
People will always disappoint you, because they are imperfect. God will not disappoint you, so why not trust Him?
Daily communion with Him (prayer, reading the Word, worship), the closer you feel to God. It is a relationship that is always worth investing in.
Love and grace are a gift given to you by God. Ask for them and use as needed!
So, all of these things and more, God has been teaching me lately. Attaining completeness in any of these concepts will be a lifelong journey, really. I will only truly be complete when I reach Heaven.
I feel God drawing me close to Him right now. Or maybe it's just that in me "drawing near to Him, He is drawing near to me." Whatever the case, I am loving the feeling of peace I have regardless of my external circumstances. I have had a lot of opportunities to trust Him lately. I am thankful for a God who loves me and cares for me so deeply.
As the Easter season is upon us, I have been thinking a lot about His sacrifice lately. I can have a tendency to become apathetic towards repetitive holidays, no matter how spiritually meaningful they may be, much to my shame. This year, however, God has awoken me to a passionate longing to meditate on the importance of His sacrifice and plug in to His Word in general right now.
Last week, I studied and shared with the ladies at prison the story of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane. I'm not sure why, but recently that story struck a chord in my heart. I believe it's the idea of Jesus praying to God in the garden with tears of agony, knowing full well what His mission would be but in his humanness, wondering if there would be a way around it. He knew what He had to do to save mankind... But, was there any other way?
There wasn't. And while Jesus asked, He also said... "Not my will, but thine."
How often do we have this attitude? As humans, we want to avoid the path of hurt and pain. Sometimes, we feel it impossible to believe a loving God would allow it. Are we as quick to say,"Not my will, Lord... But yours?"
Jesus knew it was the only way, yet as a human he could have also chosen not to go through with it. He could have thrown in the towel.
Why not? Up until this point, it's not like we had a very good track record with him. His own disciples-- those closest to Jesus while He lived His life here on Earth-- betrayed Him, denied Him, and scattered.
I think they wanted to believe Jesus. But in the final moments, they were scared. Scared for themselves. Scared of what would happen. Selfish.
And yet, Jesus decided to save us. He did it because He loved us. And He loved us despite how short we fell.
I go back to the story of Jesus in the garden because to me, it illustrates a struggle. It shows me that while Jesus was perfect, He was also human. And being human, he experienced our pain, our shame, and our problems. He knows what we go through when we cry, when we're angry, when we are sad or upset or disappointed. When we feel lonely or forgotten or betrayed... He knows. He knows what it is like to have to make a hard decision, even if you know in your heart it is the right one. He knows what it feels like to be beaten, tormented, despised, and rejected.
He also knows what it feels like to smile, and to laugh. To feel human touch, and to give a hug. To walk next to a friend on the sand, and to reach out a helping hand. He knows what it feels like to have little children sit on his knee, and he knows how to teach an audience. He walked and talked with several personalities while he was here, and he loved them all.
Anyone who may know me, knows that I am all about being "personal." I don't typically enjoy small talk and avoid it if at all possible. With that, I have loved revisiting how very personal our God and our Saviour is... So personal, in fact, that he "dwelt among us in the flesh."
Tonight I had the privilege of going through a "journey to the cross" tour that my church put on. It was phenomenal, and told the story of Jesus' path to the cross while tying in personal meditation and reflection. As you were led through dark hallways lined with little lights and into dark rooms with a narrator and soft music, you were guided through the story of Jesus. You smelled the ointment Mary used to wash Jesus' feet. You held coins in your hand and listened to the clank of then as they hit the table to symbolize Judas' betrayal. You saw His crown of thorns and meditated at the foot of His cross. You saw the rock close up the tomb, and the hope and light of a risen Saviour.
This Easter, I am thankful to Jesus for deciding to love me and save me. I am thankful for Heaven. Some days, when Earth seems hard, I wish I was there now. But selfishly. Because while I am still here, it must mean God has work for me to do.
Lately, my prayer has been one of open hands... In most all areas of my life.
I have been asking the question:
God... What will you have me to do?
Love you all.