Devotional Thought of the Day.. err Night… well.. you know…
1 As for us, we have this large crowd of witnesses around us. So then, let us rid ourselves of everything that gets in the way, and of the sin which holds on to us so tightly, and let us run with determination the race that lies before us. 2 Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from beginning to end. He did not give up because of the cross! On the contrary, because of the joy that was waiting for him, he thought nothing of the disgrace of dying on the cross, and he is now seated at the right side of God’s throne. 3 Think of what he went through; how he put up with so much hatred from sinners! So do not let yourselves become discouraged and give up. 4 For in your struggle against sin you have not yet had to resist to the point of being killed. 5 Have you forgotten the encouraging words which God speaks to you as his children? “My child, pay attention when the Lord corrects you, and do not be discouraged when he rebukes you. 6 Because the Lord corrects everyone he loves, and punishes everyone he accepts as a child.”
Hebrews 12:1-6 (TEV)
522 Even on those days when you seem to be wasting time, in the prose of the thousand details of the day there is more than enough poetry for you to feel that you are on the Cross: on a Cross, which no one notices. (1)
In more than one way, I feel like I have been wasting time over the last few days. Nothing has been accomplished, tasks at home and church are going on without completion, and to be honest, the place I am is one of pain, betrayal, incredible frustration and where I am witnessing the brokenness of humanity in ways I’ve never seen before.
It seems like I am wasting time, just waiting to get off a plane and hug my wife and son, and celebrate the Lord’s sacrifice for me, for those I love, including my birth family, my adopted family, my church family, and for all the world. Sunday can’t come along fast enough, as we celebrate Christ’s sacrifice for us as we take and eat, and take and drink, the Body and Blood of Christ.
In the meantime there is this brokenness, both that I observe (tears, frustrations,) and the feeling like I am wasting time.
Even here, this is not death I am facing, it is not the shedding of blood, it is an incredible lesson in depending on God. It’s about fixing my eyes on Christ, about remembering His sacrifice, about realizing I have been united to that death, so that I can survive this life, even trying times such as these. I am driven to the cross to avoid the despair, to avoid the discouragement, for there, standing before my Lord, contemplating His love, in awe adoring Him because of His mercy – there I find the poetry, the craftsmanship that leads me in peace. That poetry Josemaria notes is seen in lives that are broken and healing, in lives that likewise only can find peace there.
The poetry, the poiema of God (the word in Eph. 2:10 which guarantees this isn’t wasting time), healing brokenness. That I can appreciate, in that I can find hope and peace, comfort and even joy. At the cross where He Bled – at the cross where we join Him, at the cross where all is made righteous.
Realizing that, many this LCMS convention is not as much wasting time as I think it is….
Still hurtful, still feel like I have been betrayed… yet God… is working – and that is enough for me to find rest in Him.
Escriva, Josemaria. The Forge (Kindle Locations 1980-1982). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.