21 July 2010


Some words got me thinking, and I praise God for all the courage and faith He has brought to my mind in all these thoughts! I share a few of them here, and apologize for the lack of pictures....

All afternoon, all evening, even this morning as I lay half sleeping, half waking, words poured into my mind. Some I’ve carried in my heart since childhood, some I’ve grasped only in the last week or two.

My eyes scanned my own experience. That wasn’t God’s fault, I thought. Nothing that has happened to me or to those close to me was ever His fault. An enemy hath done this. (Matthew 13:28)

This war, this carnage we experience daily, didn’t begin here, in isolation from God’s own heart. First there was war in heaven. Where all was perfection, peace, joy, love, service, faith, glory, there was war. We’ve seen the wars on earth, the devastation of all sides fighting to the death. We’ve seen valor and courage face to face with evil and treachery; we’ve read the bloody history of war upon war. But how much more terrible would it be to see out and out war in heaven, where all had been bliss, where both armies had strength beyond our imaginings?

Oh, the grief our Father must know!

Lucifer started out perfect, the sun of the morning. Yet he nursed pride, thinking he could overtake the throne of God, that he could have the power of his Creator, that God wasn’t fair to keep him from his goals. (See Isaiah 14)

“And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him…And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted…” (Revelation 12:9, 13)

It was all his fault.

He disguised himself, spoke charming words, and before there was even a third human being on earth, the devil had led astray our first parents. They saw the flowers and leaves dying, they saw their son turn murderer, they faced grief beyond what we could bear, Adam living as near to one thousand years as some of us live near to one hundred.

God made them, and us, with minds, with reason, with choice. An enemy drew them in, and they had chosen. Their pain was Satan’s fault, as well as their own. They had no excuses. Adam and Eve made their choice, and it seemed like ours was forever lost in theirs.

But from the first, God had the answer to all our ruined choices, all the persecutions of the enemy. You know the answer; I know it. We know the cross. We know the Truth that sets us free. We find forgiveness at the cross.

We find justice there, too.

Has someone stolen from me? Whether the theft was petty, concrete, emotional, the price of the theft is paid to me in full for my healing by Christ’s death, whether that person repents or not. Have I been abused? Christ restores by His wounds. Have I been cheated? Have I been hurt? Have I been scorned? All the worlds of hurt in my heart are healed because Jesus died to restore to me what was taken, what was lost.

“By His stripes, we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5)

Jesus knows all our pain. It wasn’t His fault or His doing, but He paid the price for us anyway. Because He was innocent of all guilt in this war between good and evil, God and Satan, His sacrifice pays the price for us. If He had been guilty of any wrong-doing, however small, His death would have paid only the price for His faults, and could not have even begun to pay for ours.
But He was, is, and always will be perfectly holy and pure. Thus the cross is fair. It’s just. It’s merciful. It makes no excuses for sin, but takes sin’s wages from us and puts them on Jesus.

Jesus knows the pain of losing a friend in death. “Jesus wept.” Over Lazarus. Even though He was about to raise him from the dead again.

“Then said the Jews, See how He loved him!” (John 11:35, 36)

He weeps still with us, when today we face loss and discouragement. Could that be why He does not speak instantly, why He seems silent, for all His tears? He will heal, He will raise up, like He did Lazarus. He promises to wipe away all tears from our faces (Revelation 7:17). Joy will come in the morning.

Jesus knows the pain of betrayal, of loss, of ridicule, of shame, of torture. He experienced it not only in His own life and death on earth, but He also experiences it every day, every hour, every moment, with all of us. “I will never leave you, nor forsake you,” He promised, and with His presence, this Gift of all gifts, we can be content. (Hebrews 13:5) He took up the cross for us, and has not laid it down again, but daily walks the road with us, bearing our burdens.

No matter how alone we feel, no matter how grieved, no matter how isolated, we cling to this promise. God does not lie, and His Word cannot fail. This is a God I can trust, though He slay me. (Job 13:15)

He said we would have trouble in this world. It’s because of the enemy, because of our choices, because of choices others make around us.

“But be of good cheer,” He says. “I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)