In which I confess that I’ve failed my lenten fast…


Yes, I got up early for a while, but then I failed because of many reasons (I can come up with excuses pretty easily I’ve found). But dreading writing (rather, procrastinating it) because of my failure, needs to stop. NOW.

Therefore, I write.

First, my mom finished cancer treatment since the battle began back in August. 8 Months. We made it! Praise God! I happened to be in California for part of my spring break on her final day of treatment. She was a trooper and cancer-missionary during treatment, and I’m so proud of her. So thankful to have her, and that she’s my mom. We’ve now gone through the cancer-treatment process twice, and I wonder why. God knows. Yep, He does. Part of me wants to write a book for those who have climbed the mountain of pain with those suffering from life threatening illnesses. We’ll seeeee….

Secondly, I’ve been dating a wonderful man for almost 6 months. (6 months the day after tomorrow). Grace. forgiveness. love. hope. life taken in hand with faith as a gift. The words “I love you” are some of my favorite. But they mean even more when the one who says them confirms their love after you’ve sinned, after your selfishness, and when you know it comes from a cross-driven heart. And this Easter, I celebrate it with him, stand next to him and sing in my home church of the love that came down and demonstrated love in its finest glory. I pray that God will teach me how to support and love well. Because, really, it is all about Jesus. That resurrection power amazes me.

Today I squatted next to slime in a pond, helping to clean it out and make it beautiful again, remembering how the Highest King of heaven came down and went through much worse for me. Later as we gathered brush to burn around the garden outside the missions organization, I thought of the short span of my life again as the flames swiftly licked up the dried grass. “…but the Word of the Lord stands forever…”

And this short life span that is a blip, a piece of grass licked up and brought back down to ash in the grand picture of eternity, is cared for by the Creator, the Great Lover, the God who Sees (“El Roi”). And His kingdom doesn’t fail. It doesn’t flounder. he reigns. Always.

The following is an excerpt from today’s blog post by Ann Voskamp at her blog: http://www.aholyexperience.com. The parts I especially found convicting are in a different color. 🙂

Twice, Jesus weeps in the Story.      

When He saw where death had laid out Lazarus, when he saw his friend’s tomb, when he stood with the crying Mary, His Spirit moved like over face of the waters, and water ran down the face of God.

That’s what Grandma had said: A man who can break down and cry — is man who will break open his heart to let your heart in. 

Jesus wept.

He had loved Lazarus.

Our God is the God to find comfort in because ours is the God who cries… the God tender enough to break right open and let His heart run liquid and He is the river of life because He knows our heart streams. One day He will wipe all tears away because He knows how the weeping feel:  He has loved us….

Palm Sunday –  the second time in the Story when the pain breaks Him and when the palm branches wave, our God weeps:  When Jesus approached Jerusalem, “he wept over it and said, ‘If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace…”

If only you had known what would bring you peace…

You want comfort — and I offer you a Cross.
You want position — and I offer you purpose.
You want ease — and I offer you eternity.

God cries because His people cry for things that won’t bring them peace.

The people that praise Him quiet on Palm Sunday on the way into the city — are the same crowd that cry “Crucify” loud on Good Friday when it doesn’t go their way.

And I am the woman who praises Him quiet when it goes my way — and who complains loud when it doesn’t.

This is what happens when God doesn’t meet expectations. When God doesn’t conform to hopes, someone always goes looking for a hammer.

I can bang my frustration loud.

The Pastor would say it on Sunday — that the people’s Hosanna was a cry that literally meant“Save us! Save us!

Jesus weeps because we don’t know the peace that will save us. What brings us peace is always praise.

There are donkey days and I’m the fool who doesn’t recognize how God comes. God enters every moment the way He chooses and this is always the choice: wave a palm or a hammer.

How many times have I wondered how they could throw down their garments before Him on Sunday and then throw their fists at Him on Friday? But I’m the one in the front row:

If my thanksgiving is fickle, then my faith is fickle.

____

It’s true. All of it. I cry for things to make me happy…not holy. I desire comfort, ease… (because really, I’ve done my time. I’ve lived the rough road of uncertainty for a while now, and shouldn’t I just have a wee little break where something goes the way I WANT it to, WHEN I want it to???). My selfishness (my self-centered veins) throb, roar. Thanksgiving flees.

I ache and turn away from Him, as though He were the one who hurt me.

Instead, He’s the One on whom I cry and wail, my tears sometimes visible and wet, other times they are inward screams that hold breath in when it needs let out, and demand my way. And yet He doesn’t turn me away. He doesn’t send me to my room. He calls…”come! Come beloved. Cry here.”

Its the heart, my heart that needs to openly admit to God that frankly, I don’t want to obey. I don’t want to.

And I ask for help to obey.

And he gives it.

Abundantly.

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