Saturday, April 7, 2012

Arms Wide Open


And He was saying, "Abba! Father! All things are possible for You; remove this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what You will." Mark 14:36

One of the most heart wrenching verses of scripture to read. From both perspectives...Father's and Son's. Jesus, grieved almost to death, pleads with His all powerful father to spare Him the pain of what is ahead that day. He even calls Him Abba, or Daddy...not to be manipulative as I would have, but as an expression of a vulnerable child to His protector. Jesus knew "Daddy" is always good and loving. Trusting, Jesus lays himself at His father's feet, opens His doubly filled, human and divine heart and then with all righteousness, submits to His father's will.

I don't know about you, but submitting my will to God's or that of anyone of lesser value, is probably the most difficult thing I have ever had to do. Now, I have never been asked to be tortured, mocked and rejected for another person's problems...I have a hard time giving up an extra helping of lasagna, never mind what was on the menu for Jesus that day. His example of selflessness is the ultimate so that all of the "little" things we are asked to live with or without, pale in comparison. Don't think God doesn't ask us to suffer for Him...He does.

"I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go." John 21:18

If He expected this of Peter, the Rock that would build His church, then what should we expect?? A cozy lifestyle? Accolades from the world? Whatever we want? Eventually we have to grow up and allow our Father to lead us, wherever and whatever that looks like, we must go willingly. If we are truly His, then why do we act like we belong to ourselves? Doing what will please us and what will advance our own causes? Most of the time, He just wants us to be sincerely willing, but like a good Father, He never asks us to do anything difficult that is not necessary...lavishing good pleasures on His children. Most of the time. If He expected the worst cross from His own Son, why should He expect a little bit of discomfrort from me?

And then there is the other perspective...the Father's. Earlier, I said that submission was the most difficult thing I have ever had to do. Except for this second thing...allowing your child to suffer for goodness sake. Now, this really is THE most difficult thing to do. From those dreadful infant inoculations to letting them experience injustice and personal hurt. Overprotective parents don't get this...I'm talking to myself here...God is not an overprotective parent, or Jesus never would have had to endure the cross, David wouldn't have had to endure Saul's threats for 10 years and Job wouldn't have lost a thing. God knows what forms good character and what is "best" for His children...we think it's comfort, pleasure and advancement.

Because I have only beautiful things planned for my kids, I have to allow God to take the reigns of their lives and expect them to live by the scripture. If I don't, they will become spoiled babies in big people bodies, useless to the Kingdom of God and empty of joy. Fleeting happiness in exchange for lasting joy. They will stand before Him to give account and all they will have to offer the Almighty is "I was happy!". Missed the point. My object of worship is then my child and not Jesus anymore. Again, the hardest thing in the world to do. God did it first, for goodness sake and we are called to follow His example...always.

Eventually, Job regained everything and more then was taken from him, David got His throne and justice and Jesus was gloriously resurrected...with more honoring to come. God never asks us to suffer, and then leaves us regretting our sacrifice.

"Those who honor me I will honor" 1 Samuel 2:30

Recognize that God is "Abba" always good and full of compassion, go ahead and ask for mercy and grace, then trust His will...based in scripture, no matter how bad it looks. It will never last one second longer than necessary, because you are His precious child and He cannot love you less.

It's Friday...but Sunday's comin'!

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