"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.
Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:34 NIV

Friday, April 18, 2014

It is Finished

I picture him alone in the garden, head in his hands wrestling with his own humanity - Jesus, the King of Kings and Jesus, the Son of Man. Knowing what was to come and asking for strength, he poured out his heart to the only one who understood. His spirit, soul, and body in perfect agreement as he boldly declared, "Not my will, but yours be done."

Betrayed by a friend, mocked and beaten, then found guilty by those who prided themselves on the rules of religion. The angry mob shouted, "Let his blood be on us and on our children!" Jesus stood tall and silent. The prophetic words echoed deeper truth than his accusers realized. Cover us! Cover our children!

It had been the plan all along.

Led to a hill and humiliated before all, he refused to draw upon his power to summon thousands of angels to save him. Instead, breathless and bloody, full of anguish but never losing hope, Jesus declares, "It is finished!" The culmination of the greatest rescue operation ever planned. Every ounce of love the creator of the universe had, poured out one crimson drop at a time. For me. For you.

"It is finished!" The last sacrifice was slain. The gap between holiness and sinfulness erased with one final heartbeat. The sky darkened and the earth trembled as tears of sorrow and joy flowed from Heaven.

What response could possibly do justice to the depth of this sacrifice?

Believe that it is finished. Trust and refuse to live in condemnation. Accept his forgiveness and love. Walk boldly in the freedom that was purchased for you. The King of Kings and Lord of Lords believes you are worth dying for.

(Luke 22:42, Matthew 27:25, John 19:13)

Monday, April 7, 2014

*THE Relationship

An argument to start to the day, an unexpected twist in the plan, a little behind in time, and I was tense. When I noticed my teeth were clenched it was too late. (Place hand over mouth here to keep the scream inside.)

I needed some chocolate. I needed to escape the chaos. I needed a friend to pour out my woes upon. All my options felt somehow hollow. I knew they would not really fill the empty place at the moment.  

I needed... Jesus. I needed to lean fully into the relationship that has never let me down, or left me alone. In my mind I was drowning in a sea of "why me, why today's" and his hand was reaching out to pull me up and out of the storm. Would I grab on or turn away to food, to fleeing, or to other relationships? Breathe, a little slower this time.

I accepted the hand and grasped the love offered to me every moment of every day. The argument still happened, plans were still changed, and we were still late, but I remembered what was truly important in that moment: a relationship of pure love and forgiveness. Then, and only then, could I go about my day at peace.

The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. (Deut. 31:8 NIV) 

I spread out my hands to you; I thirst for you like a parched land. Answer me quickly, Lord; my spirit fails. Do not hide your face from me or I will be like those who go down to the pit. Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life. (Psalm 143:6-8 NIV)

"There is always sufficient reason for despair, but there is never sufficient purpose." ~Robert Brault

Jesus, I can breathe easily in our relationship. You are always beside me whispering love. Help me learn how to overflow with the same love onto those around me. Amen.

*Originally Posted on 8/15/12