“Yet he remained”

jesus_crucifixion_john_mary

There are times in my life when the devotional I am reading speaks deep into my heart during the specific season I am journeying through.   A few months ago, I picked up Beth Moore’s JOHN – 90 Days with The Beloved Disciple.  Yes, 90 days – and yes, I picked it up a few months ago – but, no, I am not nearly done with it.  I wish I could say I am more disciplined to finish a 90 day study in 90 days.  But, yet again, God brings me back to a devotional at just the perfect timing.  Brings me to my knees every time.

My post today will not be my words for the most part.  The story of today’s devotional has hit me deeply on my Lenten Journey.  The story of John at the cross.  The love and faith he had for his Jesus, so much so that he stayed by his side, through the beauty and the ugly.  Oh how I desire to be such a disciple of my Jesus, to look into his face in the good and the bad, loving him, trusting him and believing.  This is why I walk the Lenten journey.  It makes Easter that much sweeter and changes something in me every year.  I can not truly celebrate the beauty and victory of Easter morning without walking with my Lord through hell first.

(From my devotion today)

“John remained nearby Jesus whether his leader was on the Mount of Transfiguration or in the deep of Gethsemane’s suffering.  John leaned affectionately upon Him during the Passover feast but also followed Him into the courts for the trials.  John clung to Jesus when He raised the dead, and he clung to Jesus when He became the dead.

John was found nearby when human reasoning implied his faithful Leader’s mission had failed.  He could not have comprehended that the plan of the ages was going perfectly.  Yet he remained.  He who looked upon a face that had shone like the sun (Matthew 17:2) was willing to look upon a face bloody and spit upon.  He stayed nearby during both Christ’s brightest and darkest hours.  The young disciple knew Jesus in the extremities.  John was willing to look when others would have covered their eyes, and he beheld Him.  How can we behold what we are unwilling to see?

We cannot claim to know anyone intimately whom we’ve not known in the intensity of both agony and elation.  Anyone with eyes willing to truly behold Jesus will at times be confused and shocked by what he/she sees.  You see, if we’re willing to be taken to the extremes of His glory where intimate knowledge is gained, we will undoubtedly see things of Him we cannot explain and that sometimes disturb.  

Then comes the questions:  Will we walk away from Jesus when from human understanding He looks weak and defeated?  Do you know what I mean by that question?

When based on earthly evidence, human reasoning is left to one of two harrowing conclusions: He is either mean or weak.  Think, beloved, about what I’m saying.  Will we cling when our human reasoning implies evil had defeated Him?  Or that evil seems to be found in Him?  Will we stand by faith when human logic says to run?  That’s what will make us different.”

– Beth Moore, JOHN – 90 Days With The Beloved Disciple

Dearest Jesus, I walk this Lenten journey because there is no other road I desire to walk.  As I follow you, as I watch and listen and see, speak deep to my heart the truths of your love and your Kingdom.  And may that which I witness from this time to Easter morning, forever change me and make me different so that I may STAND in this world and fight on the front lines of the battle we face, not just for myself but also for those around me.  Thank you.  Thank you.  Amen.

White as Snow

snowy-day-the-light-nc

 

Today’s snowfall is not as exciting as it was a few months ago.  By this time, Spring is what we all seem to be wishing for desperately.  However, this morning as I watch the snow fall, I am thankful for the fresh cleansing that it seems to bring.

Yesterday, as I ran some errands, I noticed how yucky everything looked.  The snow was grey and brown and dirty.  The streets were muddy and messy.  The sky was cloudy and grey even as the sun tried to poke through.  And my heart felt all these things as well.  It was just one of those days.   I felt the need for warmth, sunshine, fresh air and cleanliness.  I needed a new start to my day.  I needed a do-over.

Although I am not thrilled to have several more inches of snow on the ground today, I am thankful for what my eyes now see, a white, fresh, clean layer upon the earth.  I am reminded that each day is a new day, a fresh start.  And when I turn towards Jesus, He will cleanse me and make me new, over and over again.  Praise God!

“Come now, let us reason together, says The Lord.  Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are crimson, they shall be like wool.” – Isaiah: 1:18

I look forward to the day when Spring is everywhere, in the colorful flowers and green grass and blazing sun.  I can hardly stand to wait!  But today seems so appropriate.  As I walk this Lenten journey towards Easter, my heart is refreshed.  I am forgiven.  I am made new.  I am clean.  All because of the dark, ugly, dirty path Jesus had to walk.  All because of the sacrifice and love of Jesus, my Lord and Savior.  I am humbled and so very grateful.

Wash me today, Lord.  Make me white as snow.  Amen.