Tuesday, October 16, 2012
We live life to ourselves. Holding tight to our hopes and dreams, allowing nothing to get in the way . . . keeping God at a distance and only beckoning Him when we find ourselves broken, without hope, and in a pit that has been dug so deep . . . there’s no way to get out. The moments of desperation, the times of crying out to God are covered in His silence as we glimpse His ways:
We yearn for love and He breaks our hearts.
We plead for mercy and He sends us anguish.
We beg for hope and He takes it all away.
We are desperate for Jesus and He places us in a furnace with Him.
We find it easier to obey Him than to suffer for Him. We’d rather carry the Cross than hang upon it. We forget the glory. We fail to see the bigger picture. Following Jesus seems like a bad idea to our flesh . . . we’ll lack what others have in this world, we’ll miss out on what others seem to enjoy so much . . . and we cling. Cling to what we want, our will . . . instead of God’s. We listen to others, leaving our Shepherd, finding guidance within the limited, fallen nature of sinful people. And we end up with Lot’s portion, instead of Abraham’s.
Oh, but the joy of being fully surrendered. Light breaks through darkness and joy comes in the morning. There is a glorious song that is sung in the presence of the risen Christ. Reflection upon what might have been had we not fully surrendered brings us to a place beyond humbleness. We find ourselves with Abraham's portion, not Lot's and we are reminded that it isn't because of our deep, passionate, persistence of faith, but of God's faithfulness in our lives. Along the journey we know it wasn't because of something we did, but because of what He's done. And the joy that comes, comes through deep, desperate surrendering over and over again. And we see, so clearly, our suffering has been good. It is all for the glory of God. The joy of persevering so far outweighs the pain. It is found only in full surrender not to our will, but to His. And in our moment of surrender, when we thought we were losing everything, we now fully realize, we have gained everything. Unspeakable joy now reigns in our spirit in more ways than we could ever imagine.
And it's because of that Cross.
And it's no longer I that live, but Christ in me.
And I fall in sweet surrender to Him . . . every day, in every way.
And in that surrender, there is joy everlasting.
“God forbid that I should glory,
except for the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Because of that cross,
my interest in this world has been crucified,
and the world's interest in me has also died.”
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