Abandoned…into Grace

1Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 Anyone who wants to save his life will lose it; but anyone who loses his life for my sake will find it. 26 What, then, will anyone gain by winning the whole world and forfeiting his life? Or what can anyone offer in exchange for his life?   Matthew 16:24-26 (NJB) 

cross, “Today once again I prayed full of confidence. This was my petition: “Lord, may neither our past wretchedness which has been forgiven us, nor the possibility of future wretchedness cause us any disquiet. May we abandon ourselves into your merciful hands. May we bring before you our desires for sanctity and apostolate (mission), which are hidden like embers under the ashes of an apparent coldness…” ”Lord, I know you are listening to us.” You should say this to him too.”  (1)

It was one of those exercises on leadership retreats that caused me the greatest concern.  Standing on a ladder, with ten people below me, the retreat facilitator ask me the cross my arms, close my eyes… and fall backwards – trusting the ten people (including a couple of petite ladies) to catch me.

My thoughts went to my own wretched condition, significantly overweight, tall and awkward, the idea that they would catch me?  Really?  I looked back, thinking about my peers, and their…err…reliability.  I heard the coach’s assurance – everything will be fine…..

Yeah, sure….

Eventually, the frustration overcomes the fear and I fell into the arms of my friends.. who didn’t let me crash on the ground, they were able to bear the weight.

Trusting God is a lot like that – for part of trusting Him is found in trusting that He can deal with our past struggles, and our future failures.  That He can overcome the hindrances in our lives, that He will sustain us, heal us, bring us to completion.  We have to abandon ourselves, let God strip us of the pride that leads us to self-preservation.

It isn’t easy….

It takes a lot of time with the cross – seeing that Jesus did that same thing …. He abandoned His life, His Spirit,  into the hands of the Father.

Now it is our turn – with a difference…. The Spirit’s presence, coaching, encouraging, bringing us life….

Father, help us to abandon ourselves into your Hands…. Help us to trust…

AMEN

 

(1) Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). The Forge (Kindle Locations 1637-1641). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.

About justifiedandsinner

I am a pastor of a Concordia Lutheran Church in Cerritos, California, where we rejoice in God's saving us from our sin, and the unrighteousness of the world. It is all about His work, the gift of salvation given to all who trust in Jesus Christ, and what He has done that is revealed in Scripture. God deserves all the glory, honor and praise, for He has rescued and redeemed His people.

Posted on November 11, 2012, in Devotions and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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