Lent 2015 Day 8 // Sacrificial Love

Image by Melissa Clayton

Image by Melissa Clayton

John 15:131 John 3:16Romans 5:8John 3:161 John 4:18Leviticus 19:18; 2 Timothy 3:12

Sacrificial love.

Sisters, we have been praying and going on this journey with God. Imagine yourself, right now, straddling the desert and the forest (remember day 2?). One can be seen as hot and lonely but so clear you can see for miles. The other as tropical & fresh, but with much distraction and not moving a foot before you run into a bush or a tree. What is going to be your next step?

God wants us for himself right now. There is a time to go into the jungle and the forest and fight the good fight but sometimes, like now, the Lord calls us to regroup, to see clearly again who the goal is and what love means.

I recently heard a talk that Mark Hart was giving. It was entertaining and deep and he made a point that I never really thought of.

From Mark Hart:

Let’s go to the image of Calvary. Jesus was on the cross and the two thieves were next to him. Jesus was in an insurmountable amount of pain. Different parts of his beaten body were shutting down and he had to literally lift himself up to take each breath. If at any moment Jesus wanted it to stop, you can bet that there was a legion of Angels with swords waiting for Jesus to just say the word to even blink and they would have wiped out all of the soldiers and a chariot could have come and taken him up to heaven.
How would we respond of that were to happen? Whenever we we're in pain, or our loved ones called us and told us that someone had cancer, or if bad news of a divorce hit, or someone passed away, and we prayed to God and said "But you don’t understand this pain God!" And He could have said, "Yes I do, believe me I know what that pain was like." And we could respond with "But when the going got tough, you got going." Our suffering wouldn’t mean as much and we wouldn’t be able to fully trust God.
But God stayed. He knew that he would rather stay and die in order for you to have a chance to be with him again. He gave himself for us. He gave meaning to our suffering. Now our suffering can be redemptive and offered up for others and it can mean something. Because Christ made it mean something. Our suffering can be for a greater purpose.
And the two thieves: One thief was asking God to show his power and he wanted his suffering to stop. He wanted to be taken down from the cross. The other thief saw God, had a conversion right there on the cross and he didn’t want to be taken down, he wanted to be lifted up with God. He gave himself to God and asked to be remembered, to be one with God. And God took him with himself to paradise. Even in the midst of that suffering, God still had mercy and love for his child.

We are God’s children - He loves us. He has mercy for us. He did not say we would not suffer but on the contrary, “Indeed all who desire to live a Godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” (2 Tim 3:12) Even if the change hurts, that change is worth it to have that freedom from sin and be surrounded by the Love of Christ. Keep going on this pilgrimage of faith sisters.

You are worth it. You are strong! You are loved!

“To be tempted is a sign that the soul is very pleasing to the Lord” –St. Padre Pio