Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Next Thing

Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane, pouring out His heart to the Father, wrestling with the calling that was too heavy to bear, pleading with God that it be removed. Couldn't there be another way? He knew His friends couldn't do it for Him, but He needed their support--just a little prayer support. He wasn't asking them to carry His cross--just to pray him through this period of agony... And they missed it.

Jesus had to wrestle through alone. There was no one to hold His hand. There was no one to lay a strong, supportive hand on His shoulder. He was left to grapple totally and completely alone.

So what did He do? Did He storm off and leave his lackadaisical friends to sleep? No, he simply told them to, "Rise up, let us go!" No whining, no guilt trip, let's just move on. Yes, they had blown it big time. They had missed an incredible opportunity. The only thing left to do was to move on.

How many opportunities like that have I slept through? How many have I missed because I'm more concerned about my image than anything else? How often have I failed so miserably because I was asleep at the wheel? More than I want to think about.

So, do I give up? Do I just say, "Forget it, I can't do it all, so I'll do nothing but slumber my way through life?" God forbid!

Do you feel you've failed miserably at something that is now irreparable? Something so heavy that you can't bear it? Something so crushing that you cannot rise up out of it on your own? I have.

My children, who I nursed at my breast, who I coddled and loved, who giggled and played and brought me so much joy are both now out of my reach. My son is now a man. He is a man who has followed a path that is much more tragic than my worst nightmare for him. My daughter died. I didn't protect her. I didn't keep her safe. I didn't keep either of my kids safe.

Sometimes the sense of my failure as a mother is more crushing than I can bear. I cannot rise up out of it on my own. But Oswald Chambers says that Jesus is telling me, "Sleep on now, that opportunity is lost forever, you cannot alter it, but rise and go to the next thing. Let the past sleep, but let it sleep on the bosom of Christ, and go out into the irresistible future with Him."

So what is the next thing? I have three: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. (1 Corinthians 13:12-13 MSG) Those are the words I want to live by for the rest of my life. Those are the words that can get me to rise up when I can't do it on my own. It's the hope--the unswerving hope--that gets me out of bed every single morning. I can't get through a single day without it.

That's the reason for this blog. Sometimes I have to read it myself to renew the hope that Christ has put in my heart. Without hope, life is meaningless. Won't you join my on this quest for hope? We can't go on without it!

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I would love to hear from you! Let me know what you think and how I can pray for you. Most of us are carrying some pretty heavy baggage and the good news is, you don't have to carry it alone! You can lay it at the feet of Jesus, and sometimes we need help just letting go of our baggage and not picking it up again. We're in this together!