Monthly Archives: February 2016

The Third Day

Your battle’s been long. Day after day, you rise praying for a change and a “better” but it still looks and feels the same. You’re tired.  The facts say this is the way it’s going to be. It is what it is, despite your best efforts. Discouragement has crept in and depression isn’t far behind. You tell yourself you may as well settle in and try to become okay with it because it’s never going to change for the better. You’ve given it your best shot; now it’s time to learn to live with it.

The disciples felt the same way.  Walking on that road to Emmaus they reminisced over all they had been taught and heard from Jesus.  They gave up everything to follow Him only to watch Him be captured and killed.  He’s dead.  They’d seen Him die, they probably witnessed His cold body be wrapped in death linens and placed in a tomb.  Gone.  Buried.  What are they supposed to do with that harsh truth?  That was the truth, you know.  They were grieved and perhaps decided to go back to their pre-Jesus lives. It appeared to be over so they scattered and went on.

Wait.

They forgot the rest of the story.  In their grief, fear and despair, they forgot the truth…HIS truth…that yes, He would be crucified, killed and buried BUT He would rise again. At that moment on the road, though, their confusion and grief was all they could see and feel.  It had been three days, too long a period of time to really hope for a change.

Is it your third day?  Are you loosening the grip on your hope? Sometimes the truth of the situation trips us up and we fight the thing which causes our grip on God to weaken. The circumstances are real and we demand God show up and rescue us. Perhaps we’re looking more for a thing rather than the Person.  Oswald Chambers makes a profound statement which says “the purpose of prayer isn’t to get an answer, it’s to get hold of God”. In times of desperation and depression, that “mission” evades us – we’re so focused on our need we’re sometimes more desperate for an answer or remedy than we are for Him when, in fact, He is the answer!

Third days are hard. Our faith erodes and we’re finding ourselves in a weakened state physically, mentally and spiritually.  What do we do? Hang on.  Start speaking “the other” truths to yourself and remember, HIS WORD is just as much truth as the situation we find ourselves in.  Start believing (even though it appears to be ridiculous) what He said.  Convince yourself that no matter if everything looks dead, He’s not.  He is hope.  He is peace, comfort, and He has promised to provide.  He’s promised to never leave or forsake us.  He’s in that third day place with us.

The critical choice is whether we choose to have hope in Him or not. Jesus had the ultimate third day. He proved Himself to be who He said He was.  He will do the same in your third day.  Only believe.

Luke 24:21

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Access: DENIED

 

I’ve let you in before thinking I was strong enough and all would be fine and I’d live happily ever after. I’ve seen you through rose coloured glasses and convinced myself I was wrong; you couldn’t be “that bad”…to my regret.

I’ve been in the position where I had to consort with you to survive and to keep those I loved safe. I played along thinking I would get through it unscathed and no harm would be done. I thought I would be ultimately untouched because I was just…playing; playing the game I had to play to live through it. I thought I manipulated the great manipulator to my advantage. Perhaps I did, I don’t know.  But I do know I survived.

Turns out, I was wrong. The wounds oozed nasty things like bitterness, hate, resentment, depression, regret…for a long, long time. My success in surviving a lifetime of pain was almost my failure. The pain and memories, for a time, were relentless and haunting.

I thought I had to stay wounded; stay pitiful; stay a victim. I don’t think that any more.

We will dance no more.

Your access to my life…any part of me…(unless allowed by God Himself)…is denied.

I deny you access into my mind. I deny you access to touch my now-healing wounds. I deny your presence in any area of my life. I am no longer your victim; I am His victor.

He protects, strengthens and renews me and if He’s the door you must go through to have any access at all to any part of me, my life, my family you can’t get through. Many times a day I may have to seek His protection and when I do that door you walked through before is no longer opened. Access denied. Anger…access denied.  Depression…access denied…hopelessness…access denied…any way you think you can get in…any way you might have gotten in before, is denied.

I have to ask Him to be all those things in all possible ways of entry and I serve you warning:  I have.

He is.

So, access denied.

OVERRULED!

I’m one messed up person. I have been through a lot – anyone who’s my age that’s lived any kind of life has. We’re impacted by life events whether we know it or not. We start out as children with the purest intentions and love without any constraint…then life happens to gradually, sometimes unknowingly change all that. We have an inborn expectation that everything is going to be wonderful and easy, everyone will love us just because they say they do; our families will support us and be there for us no matter what we do, what happens or which way we choose to go.  We get a little age on us and experience behind us and we become tainted and broken, like a glass that missed a proper setting on the countertop.

We fight and argue, we choose to judge those who are different from us. We stop believing in good and start seeking the bad. We stop believing in pretty much everything for a while perhaps. We become selfish and prideful, even arrogant and demanding. We start hurting people out of our own perceptions and because of what’s happened to us.

I don’t want to love and turn the other cheek.  My “nature” is to get before I get got.  OVERRULED!  The Christ in my life, and His Spirit inside me trumps my want to on many occasions.  I find myself often at that critical crossroad where I must decide to LET Him have His way.

I don’t want to work hard to make a living. I’m tired and want things to be easy.  OVERRULED! My love for Him forces a decision, yet again. I must decide to do ALL THINGS as if doing them for Him.

I don’t want to take a chance on showing compassion or helping anyone because there were times I was in the same boat and found myself alone.  OVERRULED! I know in my Spirit that things have happened for this specific reason – to show what God has done in my life to encourage someone else walking the same road, otherwise it would result in bitterness and be for nothing.

The “BJ Barbie” (before-Jesus-Barbie) was a selfish, mad, bitter and hateful woman incapable of emotions related to compassion.  “My nature” – who I really am and what I really WAS, partly because of choice, partly because of what happened – was, IS vile.  She still exists, but I CHOOSE not to let her be evident.

More than ever, we must choose to live, act, work and talk to please HIM and not feed our emotions. Sometimes I choose correctly and sometimes I’m overruled; sometimes I choose to be “bad” and even in those times, God still loves me – and Jesus is still very much with me.

Think He’s not with you?  Think He’s going to toss you because you’re less than perfect?  OVERRULED!!!

Forgive our humanness, Lord. May we allow You to overrule and supercede anything about us.