Welcome here! This blog is an “extra blog” being posted daily between January 13 and February 3 to come alongside the 21 Days of Prayer. We are reading the book of John with the intention of looking at Jesus very closely. We want to know Him really well so that we will love Him even more!
January 31, 2019
Good morning Jesus,
I am already dreading writing on the next few chapters. Grappling with your arrest, the betrayals, denials, and lies…the sentencing. Then every horrible ramification of the curse of sin. This is where the pen runs dry and the struggle for words begins. I often feel like silence is the only response. What is one thing I can utter that does not sound ridiculously disproportionate?
Today what stood out to me is when You corrected Peter and said,
“Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?” (18:11)
This is directly applicable to me. How many things have I fought, resented, resisted, avoided because I have been fearful of or have dreaded painful circumstances? How many times have I not even thought to try to think and pray about the larger purpose of the Kingdom in it all? How many times have I not said, “Your will, not mine, be done”?
I am so quick to say, “Yes, use the sword!” Let’s fight back, let’s solve this, let’s do whatever it takes to get back to happiness! Let me be healthy, let me be light-hearted, let me drive on through the problem quickly. “Yes, use the sword!” This is wrong, it is wrong because it is hard. It is unjust because it is hard. It is unfair because it is hard.
This past weekend in Steinbach I met the lovely Grace Fast who is the pastor of prayer and prophecy at Southland. You have touched this woman with the kind of grace that matches her name. Her name is a prophecy. Her oversight and leadership is a beautiful example for me. I am so grateful for her leadership there and how You are using her.
Pastor Ray told her story, briefly. Her husband died of cancer when he was 48. I believe that was around 13 years ago (?) and out of her life “falling apart” You put together something new and so influential for Your Kingdom. Only You can do this kind of healing and only You can cause a life to bear this kind of fruit.
I think of all the ways Grace might NOT have been used if she had not been willing to turn to You and accept that “cup.” Wouldn’t she have license to be angry at You for stealing from her all that joy and camaraderie and partnership? How many mountains has she had to climb without her husband? How many times has she felt overwhelmed and alone?
Yet when I talked with her, she said, “I wouldn’t trade any of it because of what GOD has done.”
What GOD makes beautiful out of our pain! Amazing.
Jesus You knew the horror You would face anticipating the cross.
The assignment from the Father would mean You wouldn’t only experience physical torture and death. I used to think this, but how uninformed I was! A person can actually withstand a lot of physical pain. But what I didn’t know when I was younger is that You personally experienced the full torment of all sin, of all time. Every vile thing that any human has ever done or thought, You gathered all of this and took it in. You wore it, each sin like a second filthy skin, the disease of it like sulphur in your veins so that Your own Father couldn’t even look at You. It was that ghastly. That gruesome. That terrifying. That lonely.
“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin…” 2 Corinthians 5:21
This was the job. This was the cup. And this is what You willingly walked into because You knew what GOD would do through it. You knew on the other side of it, it would be “finished” and something good beyond comprehension would happen.
“For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame…” Hebrews 12:2
There is nothing I have walked through that can compare “my cup” with “Your cup” but You did say I would suffer and You didn’t add “Stop whining, it won’t even come close to My suffering.” You just call it suffering and that You identify with my suffering, comfort me in it, and walk with me as I walk it.
*** I think what You are saying to me today is this: You also set the example for me in this passage: Put away the sword. Don’t fight. Ask me what You need to know about the suffering and trust Me to use it to highlight the goodness and holiness of GOD.
Help me to rather fight to surrender to You in those times of misery, to COME ALIVE in the Spirit! No pretence that things are better than they are, but also no fatalism that this is more than You are capable of using for Your good will.
What a journey this all is! I so need Your help!