I have had two things weighing on my heart heavily in the last few days. I am going to try to mix these two things together. I will ask you to please forgive me if I do not do this topic justice. This is something that is so powerful and deserves to be handled beautifully–so please forgive me if I fail. This also is a very long post and I hope that my readers will be patient and read the full post, and forgive me for being wordy.
We are in the season of Lent, I do not know if you have ever participated in “giving something up” or “putting something on.” I have never done this until this year. As my dear friend explained we practice this “giving up” or “putting on” to bring us closer in our relationship with God. Many people choose to give up a certain food/drink etc. But this year I “put on” thinking better about myself. I have always thought so low of myself; I have never felt worthy of beautiful things or that I really had true value. And recently I have been recognizing this detrimental mindset in others I love and care for. So this is one issue that I have been grappling with in the past few days.
We are special, unique, and beautiful creatures–we were all given special purpose in this world. And it is right and it is so good if we use those unique gifts and talents; it is okay to seek out glory. But make sure that glory is for the One it belongs to–God. God has blessed every one of us with our own unique set of gifts and talents and WANTS us to use them. We are all destined for greatness but first we must learn to love ourselves and learn how to use these gifts for the glory of God.
Psalm 139: 13-14
For it was you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; that I know very well.
We are “wonderfully made” let that sit with you, let it rest in your heart, learn to trust it and learn to believe it. You are a wonderful creation. Beautiful, intricate, talented, gifted, unique and the list continues on and on. We are all specks on this earth but beautiful and intentional specks. We all have our own paths and our own journeys that were made just for us. Think about that! We were made to make a difference. Yes, one speck can make a difference–never sell yourself short. Every single one of us is a beautiful child of God–this is a life-altering realization. We are all God’s children and we are all deserving of beautiful things and of beautiful/perfect love. Please my brothers and sisters do not forget this. Remind yourself everyday that you were intentional, God has a purpose for you, and that God truly loves you completely and fully.
In this season of Lent, as I have made the journey to the cross and as I have “put on” thinking better of myself–I am closer to God. I have realized that in order for me to be able to love others, let others love me, and to love and be loved by God I must love myself.
That is my personal story for this season of Lent. Now I would like to get into something else. Lent has never really meant a lot to me, I guess I never really thought of what “Making Our Way to the Cross” meant. But suddenly as I was having lunch with a friend yesterday I realized that wow–Friday is the day. Friday is the day we recognize that Jesus made his way to the cross to lay his life down to free us from our sins. WOW. That is a powerful thing. I realized that this past Sunday Jesus rode into Jerusalem, where he knew enemies would be waiting. And that we are three days from the cross. We usually celebrate the fact that we do not have school on Good Friday, but I realized, Friday is a day of mourning. It is a day of darkness. It is a day of sadness. It is a day that is marked by hatred (from the people). It is a day that is marked by sacrifice (Jesus). It is a day marked by extreme love (Jesus). This man who is fully human and fully God came into this world in the humblest of ways, he was born as all humans are born. He depended on his mother and father as a child. And yet he was born to be great and for a great purpose. And just as we face emotions such as: betrayal, hatred, hurt, pain, suffering,love,happiness, joy etc. Jesus felt those things. God came to be one of us to feel and experience the things we feel and experience. And was willing to sacrifice himself for us to free us. How wonderful is that? That my dear brothers and sisters is perfect love.
Jesus was betrayed, was denied by a close friend, was beaten, tortured: physically and emotionally, was humiliated and felt forsaken. Yet this beautiful person could still utter “‘Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing'” (Luke 23:34). Brothers and Sisters this is the ultimate sacrifice. Friday is a day of grief, and day of mourning, but a day that we should have hope. For we know that “on the third day he rose again from the dead” (Apostles’ Creed). The darkness that comes on Friday will be wiped away by the light that is found on Sunday morning–when we will rejoice for he has risen.
But My dear brothers and sisters please remember Friday. Friday is when we all complete our journey to the cross; where we figuratively stand at the cross with Jesus and watch as he lays his life down for us. May we recognize the power and the love of this sacrifice. And may we give thanks: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
Lord, may we recognize the beautiful and perfect love that you provide us. May we recognize the power of this sacrifice and come with thanksgiving in our hearts that you love us so much. May we also recognize the hope on Friday, and recognize the beauty in the knowledge that Jesus rose again.
May the peace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all as you make your way to the cross.