O the Wonderful Cross
“Jesus I can’t be a mom today unless you show up. I have no reserves and feel totally inadequate to meet the demands placed on me already today. Please come!!”
Part of a text sent to a confidant yesterday, I began my day feeling my total depravity and need for the Lord to move in my own heart. I awoke to children who were calling my name, not adhering to the instructions I’d given for the morning, the night before. These days, I hang on to every minute of precious sleep I can get, always feeling like I’m in the deficit. Yesterday morning was no different.
I sat on my bed, in tears, thinking on how much life has changed in the last four months and how I longed for just 20 minutes of time alone with my Lord, free of the cries and demands of my children, let alone the correction, training, and discipline that takes up much of my day. I am so needy and life’s demands often feel stifling right now.
I felt like I’d completely failed to prepare for this season of remembering the death and resurrection of Jesus. I knew we’d be going to worship with the body of Christ later that evening and didn’t know how in the world I could, with a sincere heart, worship my King when I was so aware of my lack–not only in the realm of what I don’t have, but also in the area of preparing my heart.
Was I in for a surprise. As I listened to a sermon that spoke of the doctrine of the One who never stopped being fully God, never stopped holding everything together, even while descending into the body of a baby, growing into a man who came to serve, (Mark 10:47), and then while suffering a gruesome death, I was floored.
The Lord in His compassion had been allowing me to see my desperate need for Him anew (preparing me for Good Friday), so that He could then remind me that I am to relate to Him as the One who only gives, only serves…not one who needs my service or good behavior, or anything else I might hope to give to Him.
He knew this –reminding me in a very tangible way of my desperate need for Him–is how my heart would be able to fully rejoice on Sunday in His life, of His sacrifice for me…in the life He offers me. I could worship–it was the only appropriate response at being aware of my desperate need for Him.
I must be aware of my neediness. When I see and especially when I feel my desperate need for Him, then can He come and lavish His incomprehensible love on me. I am emptied of self-sufficiency, pride (though we know it’s never fully gone!). It is then that I’ll understand that He is truly the only One able to empower me to walk in His ways, to be a woman transformed.
A few words from “The Wondrous Cross” echoed in my heart last night…
O the wonderful cross
O the wonderful cross
Bids me come and die and find
that I may truly live……
Love so amazing, so divine
Demands my soul, my life, my all
I don’t think we understand what it means that this Love demands our soul, life, our all. I know that I don’t.
I’ll be honest, there is a part of me that wants to fight against being in the place of desperation–I think as fallen humans, we all do. We want to be self-sufficient, to have it all together. But, as the same friend I sent the text to yesterday said to me recently, “I think I’m starting to like pruning,” I am able to agree. There is something very, very sweet in the realization that coming to the end of myself is actually very freeing.
It’s the only way to truly live. Death is painful. Jesus’ death was painful, but it had to happen to bring new life. So must my death, daily.
The awareness of my desperation is one of the sweetest mercies my Lord gives me. It is then that nothing else matters but having more of Jesus…because I can’t do life without Him. I will look like a fool to many. So did my Lord.
Even so Lord Jesus, keep me in this place of being so aware of my great need for You.