Join me on a journey back through time,
Way before the episode at Lazarus’ tomb,
Very close to the beginning of a beautiful story,
In the perfect garden, where all things should have been rosy,
Love wept…unseen, unheard, unconsoled.
In the face of betrayal and death;
At the pain and thought of losing
What He’d literally invested Himself into;
Love wept…bloody tears, to make room for Hope.
In times of loss and pain, I’m reminded of hymns like:
“Be still my soul, the Lord is on thy side…”;
But how does God console Himself?
“Be still my soul, the Lord is on thy side…”?
One ordinary-seeming day, Love wept…unshed tears.
Have mercy on me, Father, according to Your loving kindness. According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions (they are so many that I lost count.) I am in need of a thorough washing from iniquity and a complete cleansing from my sin. Lord, I am confronted by the gravity of my misdeeds, and my sin continually stares me in the face. Against You, and You only, have I sinned, and done that which is evil in Your sight. Your holiness demands a righteous judgement, and no one can reasonably claim my sentence unjust. I plead guilty to every charge You lay against me, Lord, but I plead that You remember that I was born in iniquity – conceived in sin. My most base nature is contrary to Your desire for truth in the inward parts. But You have taught me wisdom in the depths of my heart – the conviction of conscience that cannot be shaken.
Father, say the word, and I will be free of the heavy weight of guilt hanging over my head. Wash me, and I will be whiter than snow – free of the shame and filth that clothes me. Let Your love that shines forth within Your verdict bring joy and gladness to my soul, that the pain I suffer because of my punishment be overrun with rejoicing.
Faithful and benevolent Father, listen to my prayer this day, that I may be filled with the knowledge of Your will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding. Cause me to walk worthily of You, Lord, pleasing You in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing steadily in my knowledge of You. My Lord and God, strengthen me with all power, according to the might of Your glory, that I may be able to endure and persevere with joy and thanksgiving. Grant me comfort in the knowledge, that it is You, Father, who has made me fit to be a partaker of the inheritance of the saints in light, delivered me out of the power of darkness, and translated me into the Kingdom of the Son of Your love, in whom I have my redemption, the forgiveness of all my sins.
“Suffering is a symptom of visible creation in the throes of death. A visceral expression of the gradual demise due to the poisoning of a once perfect world. The culprit? Sin, a poison that corrupts and destroys. The antidote? Christ, bringing life and hope to a suffering dying world.” – Makafui.
The Scriptures are littered with God’s promises to His people, and they are also littered with the consequences of disobedience and sin. But it would seem upon observation that the consequences of disobedience are more pronounced and are executed more speedily than the promises and blessings are manifested. That would suggest that ‘The Accuser’ and his team take their tasks more seriously than most Christians do.
It is true that God rules, He sets the rules and He reigns; but most of the time, we seem to forget that the devil is not a very obedient entity, and obviously not a ‘law-abiding citizen’; if he was, he would not have rebelled in the first place, and there wouldn’t be such disorder in creation. He may be a defeated foe, but he is not powerless, and he has not suddenly become obedient. The fact that God has said, “Touch not my anointed, and do my prophets no harm,” does not mean the devil will obediently leave you alone if you don’t know enough to stand upon that knowledge, and God knows this too; and that is why He has given us the provision of His Word, and the ability and tool of prayer, to contend against the devil and his team of experts.
The mysteries of divine irony:
That an ancient symbol of shame
In one day became the ultimate symbol of hope;
The price was a life so pure that shame fled.
The crying cross that weeps blood,
Lamenting at the silence of the Saints –
Silent in comfort, but powerfully verbal in persecution –
Blood-marked men wrung through the wheels of suffering
Their robes made white by a thorough washing in Blood.