18 Apr 2014

His Cross... and mine - because Resurrection is coming! {Journey #12}

lively lilies in polluted China

This is the story of Resurrection.

It began with a mis-step. An I-did-not-see-that curb moment. You may have experienced it before? That one moment you were striding confident and the next you come crashing down? My hands were on the floor, my right ankle twisted and I felt a sharp pointed pain in my left big toe. I did not know where to clutch and soothe!

That was nearly three months ago. With care and exercise, my ankle healed. But my left big toe nail region had turned all black, a sign of death. But, I thought, since my toe looked and felt like it was still very much alive, new nail will no doubt grow and it will all be well in time.

Life will push its way forward. But it can get really painful.

I decided to trim my dead black nail. Then I decided to poke around the blackened clog. Big Mistake. The very next day, I started experiencing some serious pain. I had unwttingly introduced an infection.

We began this journey because we were thirsty. We met with Jesus and heard him invite, comfort, assure, steady us. But then we enter deeper into His life as we walk with Him. This week, we see a Cross
looming ahead. He is walking towards it! We nervously follow...

It is his cross. For our sake. But if we dare to admit it, the cross is ours, rightfully. 
In fact, Jesus did not go to His cross so that we won't have to go to ours. He went so that we can. 

We must face our crosses --

Our traumas that left us hurt and seem to take forever to heal.
Our busy niggling that may have turned up more pain.
Our limping and hobbling rather than a full, steady, confident stride.

We are quick to look all around us and point to our horrid experiences (those mis-steps, mistakes), those persons and their expectations/weaknesses/sins, the harsh words...
The soil of our soul is rich food for the enemy to sow an infection. When he does, it will be painful.

It is painful to rehearse our hurts
It is painful to plan a payback
It is painful to doubt God
It is painful to feel alone, lost, unsure, to regret

(and Grace and slow to a trickle)

A course of antibiotics for the toe.
A course of antibiotics for our soul: going up for prayer, sharing with a friend, ranting in your journal...

May not do.

That dead toe nail had more in store. In death, it began to deform. It curled. So as the new nail grows, the curled old nail began to burrow into my flesh. Fresh pain. I decided it is time to get down and deal with it. The doctor had warned that removing the nail would expose the toe and remove the protective covering which is the nail's job. But the nail was malfunctioning. It was not protecting, it was hurting. It must go.

I was nervous. The doctor had said it can take weeks to heal. After two anaesthetic jabs, the doctor yanked and said, 'O, its not so bad, It's coming off like a door. Just this bit like a hinge.' Then, 'Ok, when i remove the rubber band, it will bleed some....O, it's not bleeding very much at all. I think it has healed quite a bit.'

So healing grace has been at work but it's all blocked from view because of the dead black nail!
Is God's work being blocked from your view? Are you unable to trace what the Spirit is up to? Are you unsure of Jesus' presence in your life? Are you looking for Life?

My son had asked, "why call it Good Friday? It's not good! Jesus died. [frowns]"
me: it's good.... for us.

The dying is good for us.
Because the Life is always throbbing and pushing forth. 

"I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, 
but Christ lives in me; 
and the life which I now live in the flesh 
I live by faith in the Son of God, 
who loved me and gave himself up for me." 
~ Galatians 2v20 (NASB)

Dear soul, Good Friday is a day of death and death is no longer what we fear for we know the story. It is the prelude to Life. If God is bringing forth Life, renewing hope, reviving dreams, restoring faith; then you must let that which stands in the way go. You must recognise the death to receive the Life. You must trust the Life you can barely see more than the death that appears so obvious {live by faith in the Son of God...}

Yes, you worked really hard - yet
Yes, you tried so long  - yet
Yes, you cried and prayed and pounded on the doors of heaven  - yet

It is time to accept that you live in a fallen world where you will be let down, as surely as you let others down.
It is time to accept that your best shots may not rip asunder the heavy curtain hanging between you.
It is time to accept that you just may not be able, ever to, figure this one out.
It is time to see that our worst enemies are not out there; but within: pride, lust, greed, envy, unforgiveness.

It is time to die. It is time to Live.

Friends, get ready, for Resurrection is coming!

Take a moment and let this Michael Talbot song wash over you. Sing the refrain with your lips, then your heart, then your whole being.

Peace dear friend.

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