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Friday, March 18, 2016

I Refuse to Quit




But seriously, friends...  There are days when I really want to quit.

Psalm 22:11, 14, 22a, "Do not be far from me, for trouble is near and there is no one to help... I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint.  My heart has turned to wax; it has melted within me... (Yet) I will declare your name to my people..." (NIV).

Psalm 143: 7-8, "Answer me quickly, Lord; my spirit fails.  Do not hide your face from me or I will be like those who go down to the pit.  Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you.  Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life" (NIV).

I worked with wax, yesterday.  It granted a completely new meaning to the phrase "hot mess".  Just FYI, if you melt wax in the oven... on canvas... and it drips... it will stink, and create smoke, and not turn out the way you planned.  But it's OK...

These words about a heart of melted wax resonated deeply, today.  I feel sort of expended and like my heart lacks form... it's dripping... pouring over the edge... messy...

But, this life isn't really about my heart.  I'm not going to lie.  I'm exhausted.  But I'm not called to tell you about myself, not really.  What I want to emphasize... what I need to declare... is the name of God.  What is God doing in all of this?

II Corinthians 4:5, 7-12, "For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake... But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.  For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you" (NIV).

We're nearing Holy Week.  If there was ever a time when we remember to focus on Jesus' death, this is it.  I'll speak... soon... about the importance of not jumping ahead to the resurrection too quickly, but of course we're looking forward to Easter!  Easter doesn't happen, though, without death.  We get it all wrong, sometimes.  We think that life ends in death (and it does... to a degree), but actually, death gives birth to life...  Huh...  How great would it be for Jesus' life to be revealed in this mortal body...

If anyone misunderstood this, it was the disciples.  Again, as Jesus foretells his death, as he prepares his closest friends for what is to come; they don't get it.  They are still struggling for power.

Mark 10:35-38, 43-44, "Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.” “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.  They replied, “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.” “You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said. “Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with... whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. " (NIV).

Do... for... us...

No.  That's not it at all.

Do... for... others...

Continue to serve...

Even if you melt...

Sometimes messes are beautiful...
 
L.

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