Sorrowful Saturday

They were human.

As we’ve been intentionally reflecting on Holy Week and the accounts of the days leading up to the Resurrection, I’m reminded once again of how human the disciples and Jesus are. They were real people with real feelings.

I went back to John this morning and read chapter sixteen verse sixteen through eighteen. It says, “Jesus went on to say, “In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me.” At this, some of his disciples said to one another, “What does he mean by saying, ‘In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me,’ and ‘Because I am going to the Father’?” They kept asking, “What does he mean by ‘a little while’? We don’t understand what he is saying.””

They didn’t know what was coming. And this is important to remember because on this day following Jesus death they would have been experiencing deep grief and utter confusion. “What just happened?”

Then there is Peter…. Facing the overwhelming despair that he denied he was a follower of Christ. Can you imagine? In your Saviors most painful hour you completely disassociate with Him and deny even knowing Him. “Peter replied, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed. The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly.” Luke 22:60-62

For several years now we have chosen to watch the Passion of the Christ on Good Friday. Jesus was fully God and fully Man. But let’s be honest, we tend to think that Him being fully God took away from the human side of Him. He was sinless, but he wasn’t a robot void of human emotions. He experienced sadness and pain. “And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.” Luke 22:44 As The Passion gives us a visual for what Jesus went through physically and emotionally it is clear that he is very much human.

Obedience, grace and love.

“Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will bring justice to the nations. He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice; he will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth. In his teaching the islands will put their hope.” Isaiah‬ ‭42:1-4‬

“For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews‬ ‭12:2‬B

Knowing exactly what He would endure He yielded Himself to the Fathers will. Not only that but in the midst of excruciating pain and suffering He extended grace and forgiveness to all those that denied and persecuted Him. To us. We are the persecutors and the Peter’s. And all you have to do is read the scriptures to see how gracious Jesus is to our unbelieving and disobedient hearts. He offers forgiveness. Luke 23:34 “Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.'”

Today I take in the death of Christ. The times I have denied him, betrayed him even. I weep bitterly along with Peter.

They were human just like me. Just like you.

But then….. tomorrow will come! His death will not be in vain.

“I assure you: You will weep and wail, but the world will rejoice. You will become sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn to joy.” John‬ ‭16:20‬

Because of Jesus Christs indescribable, amazing love for us, our sins have been nailed to the cross.

“He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” ‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭2:24‬ ‭

May your sorrow turn to joy this Easter.

In His grace,
Katie

The Three Legged Race

I thought it would be fun to teach my girls how to have a three-legged race. I teamed up with Ryann to show them the concept and mechanics of moving the appropriate legs and working together. Then I tied her and Micaila together and sent them off in the yard. Of course Micaila tried to make it a competition, running faster and dragging Ryann as they giggled along the way. I reminded them that it wouldn’t work unless they worked as a team, as one body. Before long they buckled down and started working together. But even as they navigated the yard “as one” they still would stumble every now and then. This time though it was different. Micaila would slow her gait down if necessary and Ryann would speed up when she could. If one fell the other would stop and pull her to her feet.

At one point they both were down but decidedly not giving up. They continued laughing but this time communicating the next move or direction. “Let’s walk!” Or “Let’s trot!” (You can tell they’re in horseback riding lol)

They were in this together and as I watched the scene unfold it reminded me of those treasured relationships in the body of Christ. Those special friendships that are so completely necessary for us as Christians.

“Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.” Proverbs‬ ‭27:17‬ ‭AMP‬‬

“Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many………….there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.”
1 Corinthians‬ ‭12:12-14, 25-26‬ ‭NIV‬‬

In the past I’ve written on the importance of having strong Christian friends. There is so much in God’s Word about fellowship, encouraging one another, and accountability. We need each other as we are all being sanctified.

“Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you. May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” 2 Corinthians‬ ‭13:11, 14‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” Hebrews‬ ‭3:13‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” Ephesians‬ ‭4:15-16‬ ‭NIV‬‬

The truth is I know first hand how challenging it can be to form close relationships that are also in close proximity. I have lots of wonderful long distance friends but moving has revealed to me the challenges of making deep adult Christian friendship.

But alas there IS hope, God has been so faithful. Here are a few things that I have trusted and seen God work through.

Prayer. I know that seems like an obvious answer. But God has answered prayers that my heart and mind uttered before my mouth did. He’s also answered ones from the pages of my journal and THAT is super cool to reflect on. Don’t give up on praying and asking God to bring or use people in your life that can love, challenge and encourage you and run this race with you.

Just try. I have met a few “kindred” spirits. You know those friends that you just instantly click with little to no effort. Those are rare gems. Most likely you are gonna have to pursue with determined, prayerful effort. It may take a few times hanging out before that connection really occurs but don’t give up. Keep meeting, keep talking about it to God, he will prove faithful in your desire to have godly friendships.

Fear not. We are all messy people and to have “iron sharpening iron” you have to be willing to share your mess. Don’t let the fear of them running for the hills, after you open up about something really personal, keep you from being real and pursuing authenticity. This is the moment when we can really connect with each other and acknowledge “I’m broken”. Chances are they will respond “Me too!”

So go out there and find someone to run this race with. I promise you’ll be so glad you did. 🙂

Psalm 104

  “Praise the Lord, my soul. Lord my God, you are very great; you are clothed with splendor and majesty. The Lord wraps himself in light as with a garment; he stretches out the heavens like a tent and lays the beams of his upper chambers on their waters. He makes the clouds his chariot and rides on the wings of the wind. He makes winds his messengers, flames of fire his servants. He set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved. You covered it with the watery depths as with a garment; the waters stood above the mountains. But at your rebuke the waters fled, at the sound of your thunder they took to flight; they flowed over the mountains, they went down into the valleys, to the place you assigned for them. You set a boundary they cannot cross; never again will they cover the earth. He makes springs pour water into the ravines; it flows between the mountains. They give water to all the beasts of the field; the wild donkeys quench their thirst. The birds of the sky nest by the waters; they sing among the branches. He waters the mountains from his upper chambers; the land is satisfied by the fruit of his work. He makes grass grow for the cattle, and plants for people to cultivate— bringing forth food from the earth: wine that gladdens human hearts, oil to make their faces shine, and bread that sustains their hearts. The trees of the Lord are well watered, the cedars of Lebanon that he planted. There the birds make their nests; the stork has its home in the junipers. The high mountains belong to the wild goats; the crags are a refuge for the hyrax. He made the moon to mark the seasons, and the sun knows when to go down. You bring darkness, it becomes night, and all the beasts of the forest prowl. The lions roar for their prey and seek their food from God. The sun rises, and they steal away; they return and lie down in their dens. Then people go out to their work, to their labor until evening. How many are your works, Lord! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. There is the sea, vast and spacious, teeming with creatures beyond number— living things both large and small. There the ships go to and fro, and Leviathan, which you formed to frolic there. All creatures look to you to give them their food at the proper time. When you give it to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are satisfied with good things. When you hide your face, they are terrified; when you take away their breath, they die and return to the dust. When you send your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the ground. May the glory of the Lord endure forever; may the Lord rejoice in his works— he who looks at the earth, and it trembles, who touches the mountains, and they smoke. I will sing to the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live. May my meditation be pleasing to him, as I rejoice in the Lord. But may sinners vanish from the earth and the wicked be no more. Praise the Lord, my soul. Praise the Lord.”‭‭ Psalm‬ ‭104:1-35‬ ‭

Approval Junkies

“I remember years ago I was just powerfully impacted by John 5:44 where Jesus says this: “How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?” Well, what is the answer? You can’t. You can’t believe. Itching for glory from other people makes faith impossible. Why? Because faith means being satisfied with all that God is for you in Jesus.” John Piper

When I saw this Ask Pastor John on the DesiringGod website I just knew I had to open it. Admittedly I have always struggled with this. Essentially it’s why I shut down my social media accounts because I knew they only fed my sinful craving. You can watch or read the transcript for the full question/answer. I encourage you to. 🙂

http://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/gospel-wisdom-for-approval-junkies

Daughters of All Kinds: The Thank You They’d Like to Say.

Dear Nana,

I was observing you today….. And I want you to know I learned so many wonderful things. I witnessed with a fresh perspective how you gave of yourself from the moment your feet hit the floor till you lay your tired head down at night. I watched you love and nurture all those grand babies by feeding, changing, swinging, hugging, kissing, nap giving, inquiring, complementing, encouraging, and feeding, again. I watched you balance  your grand parenting by not coddling or over indulging but giving freedom for them to learn, grow, and be independent. Yet, you know just the right time to peek in, lovingly correct, or wipe away tears and give Popsicles for good measure. All the while maintaining a smile and your sense of humor. What an example you gave me for embracing the role as a wife and mother. You make sure to have dinner ready whether it’s for two people or eight or eighteen and it amazes me how flexible you are if plans change unexpectedly. When you begin to get tired you don’t gripe or complain you just “do the next thing.” Oh how many notes I took of you and the grace you operate from, through the power of His Spirit. And in the midst of all the activity with kids and babies and parents coming in and out, you take delight in making your husband happy and ensuring his needs are met, too. In doing all this it occurred to me that you are not only loving your grand children you are loving your own children, just as you have for so many years.

If I haven’t said thank you in awhile it’s probably because words are just not even adequate in expressing how truly grateful I am for all you do. In fact sometimes I feel downright rotten after all you sacrifice for our family. You give and give and give and I sit and wonder “How will I ever convey to this incredible woman what she really means to me?”

Thank you for being there for my children when I am not. They love you so much and that brings joy to my heart because I know with you they are safe, treasured, and loved. Thank you for being a constant support in a multitude of ways. And please, keep those prayers coming!! I don’t know what I appreciate more, your care giving, or being a prayer warrior on my behalf. You are a source of strength for our family and that strength and love point me right to Jesus. You are truly a gift from God and I just want to go on record saying how much I love you and how thankful I am for you.

With love,

Daughters of all kinds