My devotional thoughts for today…
27 Why would you ever complain, O Jacob, or, whine, Israel, saying, “GOD has lost track of me. He doesn’t care what happens to me”? 28 Don’t you know anything? Haven’t you been listening? GOD doesn’t come and go. God lasts. He’s Creator of all you can see or imagine. He doesn’t get tired out, doesn’t pause to catch his breath. And he knows everything, inside and out. 29 He energizes those who get tired, gives fresh strength to dropouts. 30 For even young people tire and drop out, young folk in their prime stumble and fall. 31 But those who wait upon GOD get fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles, They run and don’t get tired, they walk and don’t lag behind. Isaiah 40:27-31 (MSG)
You ask me, “Why that wooden cross?” And I quote from a letter: “As I raise my eyes from the microscope, my sight comes to rest on the cross—black and empty. That cross without a corpus is a symbol; it has a meaning others won’t see. And I, tired out and on the point of abandoning my work, once again bring my eyes close to the lens and continue. For that lonely cross is calling for a pair of shoulders to bear it.” (1)
It’s going to be another long day, I will probably be “working” late into the evening. The emotional roller coaster that hit top speed last Wednesday continues, and the work is piling up.
I know some of the people I am working with are far more challenged, far more weary, far more exhausted, and their burdens I struggle to turn over to God, (even though I know He has them already… I feel a need to help)
But there are days where I echo thoughts I know are said by those around me, as they question God. There are times where even as we pray, we wonder if He is listening. We leave Him, as He has asked – our burdens, but we anxiously wonder if they will be picked up. How are we to leave those burdens, those anxieties behind? How are we to keep moving, when it seems like we have no energy left? How are we to stop our complaining, our critiquing, our whining? They are the outbursts of people that are tired and weary>
As I read Escriva’s simple words, they simplify the problem, and identify what I know. Our work is our cross, our times of toil and tears is ours to bear. Even as I desire to abandon it, even as I desire to call ir a day, I know that I can keep going, I know that God’s work isn’t as heavy as I complain about, as I whine about. When I do, I am missing out on something, and I admit I miss out to often. The challenge isn’t the work after all, it is realizing what Isaiah says.
Do I know God is with me?
Do I realize His promises to sustain me?
Do I realize I do not bear this cross alone, but it is the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit, who is strengthening me? Do I know His compassion?
We need to realize that in those burdens, in these crosses we take up, we find fellowship, we find communion with God. We find out He is here, that we aren’t alone. The burden doesn’t weigh as much. When we realize this the burden does fade, the sweat and tears are replaced with peace, and His strength – always there, becomes known, and we begin to rejoice.
In truth, it has nothing to do with our age, our strength, the size of the burden, what causes us to take it up, is knowing Him, being with Him.
Does God care I am tired? Yes.. which is why He is here….lifting me up with His presence.
We need to listen when we cry, “Lord have mercy!” For then we can hear the answer!
(1) Escriva, Josemaria (2010-11-02). The Way (Kindle Locations 735-738). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.
- Why I Love the Old Testament (justifiedandsinner.com)
- VIP Concert Passes, Surgical Nurses and Divine Appointments.. (justifiedandsinner.com)
- The Burden Bearer (catchingavisionbyviv.wordpress.com)
Devotional Thoughts of the Day – please discuss!
20 My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20 (NLT)
The Cross symbolizes the life of an apostle of Christ, with a strength and a truth that delight both soul and body, though sometimes it is hard, and we can feel its weight. (1)
Often among those I study with, we talk about the baptized life, about living our lives in view of the fact that we have been united to Him in our baptism. That because of that action,sin has been separated from our lives, that we live in the presence of God. It is a pretty powerful thought.
I was thinking today as well though – when we are baptized into Chirst, we are baptized into His death – we are spiritually there on the cross, with our sins. We have, Romans 6 and Colossians 2 tell us, died with Jesus, there on the cross. That we may live – that we are living, with Him – the crucified one. We live a baptized life, yes – but we are baptized into a crucified life. We bear His cross, and in doing so take on something wonderful, something both practical and yet, in a way quite mystical and taxes our soul and our intellect.
It is not easy to live a crucified life – to live in view of the incredible love and mercy of God, to be reminded that we need, we should reflect that love. And we need to realize that the forgiveness we receive, is available to all. Especially to those who are our enemies and adversaries. To realize, with the love of Christ, that they need this love, this mercy, that they need the reconciliation that is available at the cross.
It is an incredible delight – and a weight at the same time, because even as we know the lifting of our own burdens – we take on a burden to see others freed from the snare of sin and satan and the fear of death… and the bondage that guilt or shame brings. Indeed, Paul found himself weeping and deeply grieving for those who would reject such.
So my friends, live as one who has been crucified.. for you have…with Christ. May your life reflect and reveal the very life you have in Christ now.. and may that reflection draw others to Him!
Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). The Forge (Kindle Locations 2734-2736). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.