Hello All, I was going to post this a while back but have been wasting my time pushing against a wall that I know I can’t move on my own. The holy spirit had prompted me several times to post this but I have been more worried about the technical issues of the site that I have been distracted from its purpose. When I went back and reread this piece it was as if I was seeing it for the first time and it was the push start I needed to get past this wall I am facing. I pray it encourages you as it has done for me, to write it and to read it! God bless, Tracy.
P.s. Updates to the about me page coming soon:)
Jan. 1 2018
Yesterday I prayed for the power (as Paul wrote in Ephesians 3:18) to understand the vastness of God’s love for me because I know that, that kind of understanding would change the way I live my life and relate to world. And like the loving God he is my prayers were answered. Matthew 7:7 has been showing up every where lately, in the book store, in my colouring book and online. The words that stick with me are “Continue to knock and the door will be opened”. Continue, meaning don’t stop, don’t give up. God knows the end of our stories, he knows the call he has put on our lives. In other words he knows my potential. My creation was not an accident, I have a purpose, the purpose HE has given me. But if I stop “knocking” then how will I see what I could have accomplished with his help? If I change my answer to “No! God this is too much for me” then how will I ever reach the finish line and fulfill the purpose he has for me? Luke writes in Acts 20 “every where I go from now on, I will find imprisonment and persecution waiting for me. But that’s OK. That’s no tragedy for me because I don’t cling to my life for my own sake. The only value I place on my life is that I may finish my race, that I may fulfill the ministry that Jesus our King has given me”
Matthew 26:36-46 was today’s reading. In these verses the contrast within Jesus becomes evident. There is a tug of war going on inside him. He knows his purpose from the very beginning. He has been sent to suffer a brutally violent death on behalf of a bunch of undeserving sinners. He asks the disciples to keep watch so he can pray. So he can beg his father in heaven to relieve him of this burden. Jesus the human is afraid. Afraid to suffer. Afraid of the pain and humiliation. I know I would be, especially if I knew in detail the extent of the carnage I was to endure. He wants God to save him from what he knows is his destiny and purpose. He says “If there is any other way, please take this bitter cup from me.” Matthew 26:39 -the Voice. He has two forces at war within him, this is clear because he ends his prayer with “Not my will, but yours be done”. The God in Jesus knows the weight of what God wants and what his pain will accomplish. He is clearly tormented by these opposing feelings. Matthew states “He grew sorrowful and deeply distressed” this is what led Jesus to fall on his knees in prayer. Yet he has the wisdom of God, straight from the father. He knows that God’s will, “God’s way” will serve a greater purpose, one beyond his suffering. He can see the finish line, the eternal victory. Jesus also knows that God will be with him through it. He knows that he can’t honor God’s call on his life, his very purpose, if he doesn’t suffer.
After his time in prayer Jesus returns to find his disciples asleep at their watch post. Think about this for a second. The disciples know that Jesus is the son of God, they know him personally. They lived with him. Studied under him and probably listened to him snore at night. He has told them “I chose you”. The disciples know it is their duty to spread the good news to the world. An enormous task and God himself has chosen them to bear the weight of it…and they said yes. So I find it very interesting that when Jesus, their friend, who is in grave danger asks them to keep watch and they fail at the simple task of keeping their eyes open! I just can’t fathom it! How dare they!!! They let him down. When I fell ill I couldn’t have imagined that the people I was close to, people I trusted to have my back would find themselves with better things to do in my time of need. My flesh wants to lash out, to scream at them for their insensitive and hypocritical ways. But Jesus doesn’t do that he says “Maybe now you are learning: the spirit is willing but the body is weak” Matthew 26:41. As if to say don’t let the wants of your flesh win. I know that I must forgive those who have failed me when I needed them most, because I too have been forgiven by way of the cross.
In verse 42 Jesus takes his own advice. In Matthew 7:7 he tells us to “continue to knock”. Jesus goes back to his secluded spot to pray. Matthew records that he prays with the same sentiment and words and three times he returns to find that his “watchmen” are asleep. Yet instead of giving them the earful they deserve Jesus returns faithfully to prayer. He continues to knock and by wisdom asks that God’s will be done through him. Although his “soul is overwhelmed with grief to the point of death” (Matthew 26:36) Jesus does not fight back when he is captured, he walks death row willingly because it is his purpose. He can see the victory, he knows the end of his story. Just as he knows the end of my story. God has given me a purpose, he doesn’t just believe that I can reach it, he knows I can. I can’t say without a doubt what my purpose is. But He can. He created me for it. Jesus didn’t want to suffer…and neither do I. But God sees my pain, He cries with me. So I must pray that His will be done in my life and fully trust in Him. Not because he believes I can make it a reality, but because He knows I can. Jesus saw the obstacles in front of him and prayed to be relieved of them. But as a loving God he took the punishment on my behalf. He knows I was worth dying for, that’s why he did it. So that I could be free to fulfill my purpose, and he could be with me while I endure the journey. I can’t see my future. But I can see God in the midst of my future. My suffering is a stepping stone, an obstacle obscuring my view of the victory. It is a sacrifice that must be made in order the chisel out the person I will need to be to fulfill the call that is on my life. Until my victory is in view I must keep my eye on God’s vison of my life…and keep knocking. Keep Knocking