Friday, March 29, 2013

Why I Love Good Friday

In our culture talking about sin is not politically correct.  Everyone has their own truth, and there are very few if any absolutes.  Everyone is told they have choice over everything, and whatever they choose for themselves is cool.  Advertisers use sex and money to entice us to buy whatever will make us "happy" at the moment.  Long term thinking about actions is often lost in the thrill of "love" or desire for more money, more things, "beauty", and power.  I know this may offend some of you, but sin is real and the Bible is not a book up for any interpretation that fits our desires.  There is right and there is wrong.  And this is offensive.  And not one of us lives up to the perfection of doing, thinking and saying what is right 100% of our lives.  We ALL sin.

This is why I love Good Friday.  Because I know I need a Savior

I cringe when I think of the sinful thoughts I have at times, when I think of dumb things I did (knowing full well I was sinning) in college, when I know my true motives are not pure, when I am hateful or snap at my husband, when I talk disrespectfully about my fellow man, when I am a glutton, when I don't take care of the body God gave me, when I am jealous ... the list goes on and on.  Every single one of us could write a list a mile or twenty long of the ways we have sinned against the Perfect God.  And that's where Good Friday comes in.

Jesus, God with flesh on (as Pastor Jonathan would say), willingly died the most horrifically painful death - and He did that to take the punishment for MY sins, or YOUR sins, for the sins of the whole world.  Good Friday is a day to remember and be grateful for His sacrifice.  When He hung on that cross He not only felt the physical torture, He also felt the weight of all the sins of every person who will ever live.  I feel such horrible weight when I have one sin on my shoulders.  I cannot imagine what that felt like for the perfect Son of God.  And I am so incredibly grateful. 

But you know what the best part about Good Friday is?  That it doesn't stay Good Friday.  Sunday always comes, and with it the celebration of the Risen Savior.  Jesus didn't stay in that Good Friday tomb, Easter Sunday came and with it all the hope and joy the world needs.  We are freed from our sin!  We don't have to carry the weight and punishment with us any longer.

What Jesus did on Good Friday doesn't mean that we should just go and do whatever we feel like.  We still live in an imperfect world and sin is still real.  In fact, Good Friday should make us want to do what is right, it should make us hate sin all the more.  Good Friday should inspire us to live for the One who took our sin on His shoulders to give us the opportunity to have a real and lasting relationship with God. 

So, wherever you are on this Friday, take some time to sit in the awe and wonder of the Savior.  He died so that we might live. 

Sunday, March 10, 2013


(writen over a two week period)

Sometimes I wonder if God has me confused for someone else.  Sometimes I look at my life and I get scarred.  I get scarred that there is no use in dreaming anymore.

Tonight a baby boy is being born.  A baby that I fell in love with and dreamed was MY baby.  But, I'm not the mama who is rushing to the hospital to meet her adoptive son.  And my heart is broken all over again.  (even as my heart rejoices with extreme joy for this mama ... more on that maybe later)


Proverbs 13:12 says: "Hope deferred makes the heart sick.  But desire realized brings healing to the bones."  And tonight my heart is sick.

Exactly one week ago it became evident to me that the doors we had been knocking on relentlessly for going to Zambia in the late summer were shut.  Something I had wanted so bad and something I had allowed myself to dream about isn't happening (at least not at this time).  The door we had turned down for a specific teaching job in the states seems to be the door we are now being asked to knock on, and my stubborn heart doesn't want this.  I want what WE had planned.  I wanted to go to Zambia and find a child God had put in my heart there.  But again, the door slammed shut.  And my heart is numb.


Only one day after I started this blog, I ended up admitted to the hospital where I spent nine days, had a NG tube put in my nose (not a fun experience for those of you wondering), tests, throwing up, laying for hours in a hospital alone (when my husband was student teaching and couldn't be there).  I failed at responsibilities and had to stand by and watch others scramble to cover what I usually do day to day.   And my heart felt like it couldn't stand another moment of being me.


If you are thinking that I have some amazingly profound answer to my "why" questions, you can stop reading now.  Because the truth is I don't know why.  I don't know why God would allow my heart to love a child and then take that child from me.  I don't know why God would let me dream of living in Africa (finally!) only to shut that door.  I don't know why when my health has been so stable I would suddenly have to deal with a whole new set of issues and decisions about future treatments.  I don't know why in the midst of health struggles I would question who I can trust with what is going on with my health, why I would struggle with being who I am and allowing God's strength to show through my weakness. 

But I do know one thing.

God makes beautiful things from the dust.  And that's what I cling to in moments like these.  Because, right now, my life feels like dust.  I am grieving the loss of dreams ... again.  I am wondering what the future holds for my health ... again.  And through it all with white knuckles I am clinging to the truth that God DOES make beautiful things from the dust ... from US.  In all our ugliness, all our sin and selfishness, in all our brokenness and in all our pain ... beauty out of ashes.  Take a moment and listen to THIS.  Is your life in a place of dust?  Trust that He can and will make beautiful things - even from what you are going through right now.

Give Him the control and let Him make what He wants from the broken dust of your life.