This photo says it all. Jesus carrying the burden of the cross on which He was about to be crucified...alone...deserted by all but one of His disciples (John was the only one who remained, from a distance.) However, what did this cross represent? The burden of this cross was you and me and our imperfections. He knew that nothing we could possibly ever do would be good enough to gain us access to His Perfect Father, so He, as a man who had never sinned, offered Himself a...s a Perfect unblemished sacrificial lamb on our behalf. He lived on earth as a man, just like each one of us, yet did not sin. He was the only one Qualified to be sacrificed in our stead...a Perfect Sacrifice shed His blood for us and that blood was accepted by the Father...not just for one Passover, but once and for all time, never to have to be done again...because He was a Perfect, unmarred by sin, man representing every one of us. And when He was about to take His last breath, He said, "It is Finished!" because the sacrifice was complete and the New Covenant was established on our behalf and New LIfe was made available to all mankind, no matter what we have ever done in our lives. Accept His Sacrifice on your behalf and you now have unlimitied access to the Father...forever! Now that is LOVE!!!!!!!ere to edit.
We have made to the middle of March. There are remnants of snow banks here and there, leaving mud in their wake. I had to leave my car in dirt parking lot the other day and stepped out into a muddy puddle. There was no way to get back into the car without first stepping through the mud, thus bringing it into the car with me. That is sort of like life at times. You just have to go through the muck to get to where things are fresh and clean.
April bring seemingly endless showers, which they say bring our lovely May flowers. Once again we have to endure the rain that nourishes the plants before we see the spring blossoms brightening our horizons.
Don’t you wish some days you could just skip the spring mucky melt and the showers and jump right into the sunshine and flowers? I do. Life dishes out nasty mires that soil our easy lives. Things seem to be going along well and all of a sudden you get stuck in a mud patch. Then that starts to dry up and you get moving again only to find the horizon is full of rain and gloom. How do you get through until those bright spring flowers begin to pop open? March and April seem endless when looking forward to the May season in our lives.
I know because I have been there. I have found myself in situations not of my making, yet inescapable for a season. My outlook seemed as gray and dingy as the skies; there was no hint of relief on the horizon. I was beyond my own resources for solutions. I had done all I could do to stand in the midst of the mud and I was sinking quickly. I reached up to the Word of God. I was like Peter, the disciple of Jesus, who was called to walk on water, a seemingly impossible feat. He accomplished it until he took his eyes off his great Teacher and sank into the raging waters. I had not stayed as intimately close to Jesus as I needed to be and the dirt of life was swallowing me up.
So what is the solution in the midst of a mess? I do not have the answers for individual problems but I do know what worked for me. I dug in deeply into the Word of God and saw who I was in those pages. I was a child of the King, joint heir with Jesus. I have been Redeemed from the curse and would no longer accept a defeated attitude when He said that in Him I was more than a conqueror.
I saw myself differently and thus found the seasons changing. Mud turned to showers for a period of time. Yes, the gray continued for a season, but little by little I started to see green sprouts pushing through the ground of my barren life. Soon those sprouts turned to leaves and buds formed. Before I knew it bright flowers opened, petal by petal. It was a process. It started out by hanging onto the Truth of the Word and that changed my attitude about the junk around me. Piece by piece, my situation changed as well. Coincidence? I suspect not so much. I planted different seeds and saw them grow a different harvest of pretty flowers.
I am realistic enough to realize that the seasons will continue to change. Those flowers will wilt and die if I do not tend to them. New flowers come and go with the seasons. Winter will come again, just as spring and summer and autumn do too. The challenge is to stay focused on the spring flowers in the midst of a winter’s storm, standing firm on the Word of God when it all looks bleak. That is what true Faith is all about.
Judith Utman is the author of Voices in the Wilderness.