Monday, November 1, 2010

At the foot of the cross...

Here recently, I have been begging, wanting and needing God! I need to feel Him. To know He is near. But here lately, there has been a block. This huge block that feels like I can never scale it, so why try? So, I had gotten to that place.

The place of being just completely stale.


Sitting and not even wanting to feel anything anymore.

Hating time because I felt it was flying away from me, and being taken from me. And here I was, not doing anything with it. Just watching it go by. Hating every blessed hour because I knew I wasn't right.

And here's the hard truth: I didn't care.

Ever get there?

It's an easier place to come to than you may think. Life has a way of hardening you. And once you have those "layers" of life attached to you, it's hard to peel them off. In essence, I see myself as a marble block. And one by one, the layers are being pounded off. Pounded and pounded and poked and scraped. One by one. Painful.


In the book of John, Jesus talks of the pruning of His people.

John 15:1-2: 1I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
 2Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

One thing you should know about me: I am not a gardner. I one day would like to be. With all of the land at our new house, I see rows and rows of our own fruits and veggies. But I am not there yet. At this season of life, I have planted nothing. Zip. Nada. Which is why this verse did not strike me as it did today.

Suprisingly, in this season of barrenness, I have been reading Elisabeth Elliot's Keep a Quiet Heart. Seriously amazing and inspiring book. But, the thing  I gleaned from her today was that pruning HURTS. Sometimes very badly. It's cutting and tearing, and I personally think if a plant had blood, it would involve a little bleeding too. 

So, here I sit obviously in a season where the layers are being scraped off at an amazingly rapid rate. And I sometimes think to myself, "Haven't I given up enough?!?! Atleast for right now! Just let me keep that. Just that one thing. I will let it go eventually. But right now, just let it be mine. PLEEEEEEESEEEEEE!"

And you know what I'm fighting for??? Junk. Worldly junk. When we are fighting with God, usually ( and I say usually ), it's over something ridiculous. Completely ridiculous. 

Maybe it's music. Or dress. Or a movie. Or two. 

Maybe it's something stronger like fornication. Or infidelity. Or drinking. Or drugs.

Either way, take a good look at that whole list I just made. All of it. All of it is pure ridiculousness.

Galatians 5:16- But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.

Are we walking by the Spirit? Really? Really seeking and praying to follow God? Now please, don't for one second think that I am speaking of this from some sort of high place telling you how to act. If you do feel this is what I'm saying, please go back to the beginning and re-read everything up to this point. I am currently being pruned myself. Painfully. 

But are we really seeking Him? I wasn't. Sure, I wanted Him. But did I want to seek Him? Seeking Him involves more than a quick prayer before a meal to "please bless it" and half-hearted Bible reading once a day ( if you happen to get to it. )

Seeking Him involves total heart commitment. It involves blocking out anything that could take His place in your life. It involves being totally sold out to Jesus. Letting nothing or no one coming between you two. And then, when you're in that place, sitting there at His feet. Learning. Listening. Drawing strength from Him. Giving Him your burdens. Giving Him everything.

The music. Books. Clothes. Wishes. Dreams. Desires. Feelings. 

The alcohol. Drugs. Promiscuity.

Giving it all up. 

And laying it down. At the foot of the cross. Where Jesus died so we can all do those things above I said, yet still receive forgiveness. We don't deserve forgiveness. Not a one of us. NOT ONE. 

But, God sent his Son to die for us. His SON. Being a mother now myself, I finally understand what that had to have cost Him. Your own son. Given for the sins of the world. For some sins some will commit who will never even acknowledge what He did for them. For people who don't even care!

I couldn't give my son for a best friend, let alone someone who could care less about me. That is sacrifice in it's purest form. Something I don't honestly think we can ever grasp.

So, I will now seek Him. Laying, one by one, my problems at His feet. Not because I deserve it, but because He asked me to. 

At the foot of the cross
Where grace and suffering meet
You have shown me Your love
Through the judgment You received

And You've won my heart
Yes You've won my heart
Now I can

Trade these ashes in for beauty
And wear forgiveness like a crown
Coming to kiss the feet of mercy
I lay every burden down
At the foot of the cross

At the foot of the cross
Where I am made complete
You have given me life
Through the death You bore for me 

I'm laying every burden down
I'm laying every burden down 

- Kathryn Scott 

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