This weekend marked an important date and time in my life. It was the date and time appointed to me by God to come face to face with the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. We all think we realize that when we accept Him as Savior, but for some of us, it takes time for us to really digest what He did. That's me, I guess, but I'm all the more thankful for it taking 30 years to do it.
On Friday, He showed me Peter and and how but for His gracy and mercy, I, too, would deny Him. Oh the pain of having to admit that still after all this time, I am not strong enough in and of myself to face up to the criticism and mocking of unbelievers, and how I might react to real persecution. Like Peter, I need your Holy Spirit, Lord, to overcome temptations and to stand for you when everyone else is against you.
I need Thee every hour, most gracious Lord;
No tender voice like Thine can peace afford.
I need Thee, O I need Thee;
Every hour I need Thee;
O bless me now, my Savior,
I come to Thee.
I need Thee every hour, stay Thou nearby;
Temptations lose their power when Thou art nigh.
I need Thee every hour, in joy or pain;
Come quickly and abide, or life is in vain.
I need Thee every hour; teach me Thy will;
And Thy rich promises in me fulfill.
I need Thee every hour, most Holy One;
O make me Thine indeed, Thou blessèd Son.
Then, yesterday, He really opened my eyes to the pain and the suffering He went through for me because He loved me so much and there was no other way for Him to rebuild the bridge to me but to suffer and die. For some reason, I keep thinking about how I've pricked my fingers on thorns while working in my flower beds and how badly that hurts; and then I imagine having a crown of thorns thrust into my head, not to mention the beating He took and the crucifixion, itself. He was beaten with a flagrum. The Jews were limited to giving 40 lashes with it, but the Romans had no limit. He was probably beaten to within an inch of His life. The crucifixion, well, it was purely for torture and slow death. The legs were usually broken in order to promote suffocation and speed of the process. All for me....and for you. Romans 5:7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. Jesus was willing to die for ALL the unrighteous that His righteousness would be imputed to them (us).
And today, in Church, I worshiped like never before because I realized what He accomplished for me. I could lift my hands in holy prayer and praise for Him freely and with abandon. Like David, I wanted to dance! I can see how He's working in me, and leading me, and yeah, it's a little unsettling because I can't see where we're going, but it's becoming more and more real to me that I want to go wherever it is that He's taking me. Each day a little more and a little of more of me commits to doing whatever it takes, and my prayer tonight, Lord, as I close my eyes, is:
I trust you, Lord, in life, in death in resurrection; in my life, in my children's lives, in my family's lives and my friends; you who began the good work are faithful to complete it. You are worthy of my trust, my love, my worship, my ALL. Hallelujah to you Jesus. I bless your name, and I thank you for the great, life changing, eternity transforming power of your love.
Isn't it funny how 25 years of hymn playing just keeps coming to me as I write these little blurbs in my life?
All glory, laud and honor,
To Thee, Redeemer, King,
To Whom the lips of children
Made sweet hosannas ring.
Thou art the King of Israel,
Thou David’s royal Son,
Who in the Lord’s Name comest,
The King and Blessèd One.
The company of angels
Are praising Thee on High,
And mortal men and all things
Created make reply.
The people of the Hebrews
With palms before Thee went;
Our prayer and praise and anthems
Before Thee we present.
To Thee, before Thy passion,
They sang their hymns of praise;
To Thee, now high exalted,
Our melody we raise.
Thou didst accept their praises;
Accept the prayers we bring,
Who in all good delightest,
Thou good and gracious King.