Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Promise That's Enough

Oh Lord, life on planet earth is so painful. There are so many who are hurting, grieving: Moms who, after pouring a lifetime of love and self-sacrifice, into their children, watch helplessly as those same children choose again and again to walk their self-destructive paths; Wives who have lost husbands, either to death or divorce which feels like death; Men who have lost, not only their jobs, but their self-respect as well; Children who have lost their parents and are bouncing from foster home to foster home yearning for someone to love them. The list could go on and on.

It seems so unfair. It seems like You really don’t care. You could intervene… You could call ten-thousand angels… Sometimes we feel we need to scream the words of Your Son, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?!”

But , wait, if even Your Son felt that way, why shouldn’t we? He was the sinless one. Yet He chose to take the sin and disease of every man, woman and child who has ever or will ever live. In His final days on earth, He defeated death, Hell and the grave. He came to preach the good news to the poor, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for captives and release from darkness for prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.

So why do we still suffer?

For one thing, we’re not in heaven yet. Only there will there be no more tears or crying or pain. Jesus warned us that life on planet earth would be hard, (it was certainly hard for Him.) but then He said, “but take heart, for I have overcome the world.”

My devotional for today says, “Jesus is still Lord—but he rules in the same way that he lived, taught and died. When his followers learn again to do the same, we shall see a fresh start… picking up neatly the promise made to Joseph at the very beginning. His name will be ‘Emmanuel’… ‘God with us’. The promise that God is with us is one you can stake your life on.

Larry Crabb’s Papa prayer speaks to me in times like these. Here is what he says Jesus says to us:

“Come to me exactly how you are. Stop trying so hard to be good. Admit you’re not so good. Admit how disappointed you are in what you’ve so far experienced of Me. I know you wonder if I even care. Sometimes you’ve hated Me. Be who you are in My presence. No, it’s not a pretty sight. But I’ve found a way for Me to look at you with excitement. And my Father is singing over you. You won’t hear the music till you come out from hiding. Come. Present yourself to Me. I’ll walk with you as you present yourself to my Father. It’ll be all right. Trust Me.”  --Jesus

If you are suffering today and feel like your heart just can’t take it anymore, if you feel like you’ve been slapped around by life so much that you just can’t get out of bed. Take heart. Jesus walks beside you. He weeps when you weep. Be real with Him. Be honest about how you feel. Come out from hiding. Then you’ll begin to hear the music. His promise to be “God With Us” is enough. Really, what more could we ask. Life on this earth is just a drop in the bucket compared to eternity in heaven, and the God of the Universe has chosen to walk the earth with us. That  is our Unswerving Hope!

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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!