February 16, 2010

The Story of Love Within the Pages of the Story of Death

"Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me"." Matthew 16:24 NLT
Next time you are sitting in a coffee shop, look around and see if you can find one. It won't take long to spot, I can assure you. It could be gold or silver, jeweled and delicate or metallic and rugged.

It musters up different emotions. For some, it is a piece of jewelry that is worn without a thought. After all, it was bought just for that outfit. The perfect accessory to finish off the look just right.

For others, it is something to be shied away from. They remember the picture of the man hanging on it. They shiver thinking that someone died on one. Why would anyone want to focus on something that speaks of pain and torture?

But for some, it is the symbol of all that is. It symbolizes all they were, all they are and all they will be. It tells the greatest story ever told. The story of Love within the pages of the story of death.

His death so I may live.

My death so He may live.

How odd. The logical sequence is life then death, not death then life.

But that is exactly how it is.

In order to live, there must be death.

We celebrate life with "It's a boy!" or "It's a girl!" and then we wait for the sound that, since the beginning of time, a mother holds her breath to hear. The cry of life. 

But death.

His death.

His death not warranted nor deserved. His death so life could be born. His death so victory could be won. His death so a Creator could be reunited with His creation. His death so a Father could be reunited with His child.

Another death.

My death.

My death is the only way I know how to even start to say thank you. My death so the Spirit can fully have His way. My death so that same stubborn sin finally dies. My death so the gripping temptations lose their hold.

His death began with surrender. “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” Luke 22:42 NLT 

Mine begins in much the same way.

Starting with the bending of my knee and the bowing of my heart to the King of kings.  Praying "Your will, not mine. Your desires, not mine. Your control, not mine.  All to you and for you Jesus, I surrender."

Today starts a forty day journey to the Cross which will end at an open and empty tomb. A journey from death to life, from defeat to victory. Let’s not journey through this Lenten season unchanged. Let’s die to ourselves so that we may live and experience abundant life. Let’s let the Light of Jesus shine on what needs to die. Let’s let the Word penetrate into our hearts so we can be transformed and our minds be renewed. Let’s take up our cross and follow him.

Each of us is shaped to serve the living God. We come together for one common goal, total health. Some of us are on a journey to weight loss. Some of us are on a journey to wholeness and healing. Some of us are on a journey to living life above the rubble. Whatever your journey, our destination is the same - a life of fullness of health through Jesus.

I want to hear from you. Where do you want to be forty days from now? Are you willing to walk the path to the Cross with us? To let God have his way to transform us - ordinary women with ordinary challenges as we seek to serve our extraordinary God.


Kathryn said...

Beautifully written, O'Nealya. Yes, I am on this journey of renewal with you. Starting each day on bended knee, and believing in the transforming power of our awesome God.

April E. :) said...

I agree, very beautifully written, and for me it cannot be answered so simply. We have had a journey of our own recently at church, "One month to Live." What would I do if I only have 30 days left on this earth. It seems like an easy answer, but it's not. It calls for drastic changes and recognizing that even when you think you are doing well, there is always room for change!

Joy McHale said...

Those were the words I needed to read today... thank you

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