It’s Good Friday. God woke me up this morning sometime after 1am.
Yesterday marked month out from when we’d be packing up the furniture and starting our move to Colorado.
We still don’t know exactly where we will live. My stomach knotted at what our realtor conveyed earlier in the day, “Yeh, things are going really fast. You need to move on something now.” But we’re still in Texas and…
I thought about the night some 2,000 plus years ago when Jesus sat at the table enjoying the company of His close friends. He knew what awaited him the next day.
I got together with my friend and spent time realigning my thoughts yet again to line up with the will of God.
Late night I turned the lights out.
It was about the time He would have gone to the beautiful garden across the brook from the temple.
Resting my head on the pillow I pictured Jesus in the garden, crying out;
“Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.” Luke 22: 42-43
He knew what God was leading Him to do, but He was asking for another way.
I’m so grateful those utterances of desperation and humanity made it to the Bible. Even Jesus was in turmoil of what lay ahead.
God didn’t say, “Yeh son, you’re right. What was I thinking?”
“This is a little much isn’t it? Let’s try an easier plan.”
God held firm to His plan. His plans are ALWAYS best. No matter how strange and contrary to logic they may appear or feel.
In the hour Jesus cried out, God sent an angel who appeared to Him, strengthening Him as He committed Himself to obedience.
God keeps to His plans. We are part of His plans.
In the same manner, we can expect God will strengthen us at our point of need to accomplish the assignments He calls us to.
And Jesus’ cry was different than when we cry out for “another way”. He didn’t want to be separated from Father.
Because He paid with His blood and final breath, we never have to face that separation.
“neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:39
Sometime in the early hours after midnight my phone lit up. It was my son Jake.
Immediately I answer; something had to be up for him to call then.
“Hey mom, sorry to call at this hour but I’ve been up praying for you and really felt like I was supposed to call now and remind you these are God’s plans –that they are good. He orchestrated them and He will fulfill them.”
“You shouldn’t be afraid.”
I had gone to bed fixing my eyes on Jesus, wanting more of Him. I longed to hear from Him deep in the night. I’d come to my lowest point this week, weighed down by the cost of leaving the home and family –everything we’ve known for 22 years.
I’ve been tense with fear exploring new territory in taking on business loans to get our new venture funded. Our bank account has stretched it’s max and we still have a month to go till the house is sold.
We’ve been steadily moving forward in faith, taking action steps while pressing in daily, looking to Christ.
But this week I became undone; famished for substance to carry me thru this narrow passage of night.
I needed heavenly affirmation that we are on track.
Jake’s call was a delivery of encouragement a reminder of faith. I was awakened with a word of hope; a prodding to…
“press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Phil 3:14
Only God knew the depth of my hunger for that midnight message. Like the angel that strengthened Jesus in the dark of night, God delivered strength for the assignment with a reminder of hope.
Jesus received heavenly assurance that He was on track, and then He walked face forward to the arms of centurions who would ultimately take Him to the cross.
You and I will not the cross Jesus did. Still, we are called to carry our own.
“Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” Matthew 16:24
The cross we carry, we shoulder accompanied by His presence with us –even IN us.
As we face our burdens, will we fix our eyes on the burden and give attention to the hardship thereof?
Will we bear the burden and move forward eyes fixed on Jesus? Surely as we do so we place attention on Christ.
“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin (*FEAR: focus on the burden instead of God = sin!) which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2 (*the sin I tripped up on!)
We all face challenges. Remember, you are not alone. Turn your focus to Jesus and,
“consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Hebrew 12:3
Be encouraged, the trial is for a purpose. It may be a dark day, but Sunday is on it’s way!!