Lately, I don’t know about you, but I have been in dire need of legitimate rest: the good kind of rest; the rest that makes you feel like a brand new person. I had one of the hardest weeks and at the end of it, I was burned out. Come Friday, I didn’t know what to do with myself because honestly I could not even function. I tried two different times to take a nap thinking that would help, but apparently I stink at the etiquette of nap taking and never could fall asleep. I tried to do some jumping jacks to get the blood flowing, but I just got weird looks from my roommate instead. And when all else failed, I just got up and told my roommate I would be back and when I came back I promised I would be a new and improved version of myself.
Transformation, rest, and alone time. That’s what I needed…
Not to sit here and spiritualize every little thing, but lately I have realized more about the cross, and it’s pretty legit. The cross is all about a transformation and a present of peace. Personally, there is no way I would be willing to go back and relive my horrid past week all over again. However, I was thinking, would the Lord go back and relive His horrid experience on the cross?
Absolutely! Over and over, time and time again. Why? Well, because that was where the Father was at that moment in His life, that was where the Father needed Him at that moment in His life, that was where He became more intimate with the Father at that moment in His life, and that was where He found joy in saving His children at that moment in His life.
Sometimes, I feel like I get ahead of the Lord. I have these desires on my heart that I think I can take care of on my own (since obviously the Lord hasn’t fulfilled them yet) and therefore I tell the Lord that He needs to catch up to me. But, go figure, I am unable to obtain these desires on my own, I get burned out, and I fall back on the Lord… and the sweet thing is, even though I left Him, He still catches me in utter grace and love. It’s a hard slap in the face that is a sweet call to return to the Lord.
“For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. For see what earnestness this godly grief has produced in you, but also what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what punishment!” 2 Corinthians 7: 10-11
When Jesus went to the cross, He gave you a promise that He has got your best. I know that I personally overanalyze every situation. I want a specific plan for my future; I want to know that everything will play out just right; I want control; I want answers. However, the Lord gave me the only answer I needed. He said, “Don’t you know that when I went to the cross, I did not die a brutal death to give you a life that would be anything less than the best for you. I have got your best, I just need your trust.” What a sweet sense of peace. The cross secured my best; the Lord just needs my trust. The literal desires of my heart are laid upon His heart, because He CARES. He needs me to walk with Him, not ahead of Him.
There are two women in the Bible whose biggest desires were causing them the upmost pain and sorrow…. and go figure, it was because those desires were absent in their lives.
Hannah was a woman of God who could not conceive a son. She cried out to the Lord over and over and over begging for Him to bless her with a son. Her husband’s other wife (I know, weird) was able to bear sons and constantly rubbed it in her face. She was confused, angry, impatient, and tired of calling out upon the Lord. Finally the Lord answered her plead and the Word says, “So in the course of time, Hannah became pregnant and gave birth to a son.” In the course of time, God fulfilled her biggest desire. God will do the same thing for you in HIS TIME. But here’s the thing, in the meantime, He is not calling you into a state of fear that freezes your body in desperation of this one desire. He is calling you into peace and an intimate relationship with Him. Don’t let this one desire paralyze your body and mind, inhibiting you from producing fruit and stopping you from accepting the thousand other blessings that God wants to give you NOW. His promises will stand.
Secondly, Sara, Abraham’s wife, possessed the same desire, and as we all know the Lord did not give her this desire of a son until she was 100 years old; and when He did, He multiplied His blessing fulfilling their desires and giving them even more. Abraham became the Father of ALL nations. CRAZY!! Let me just tell you, if you try to do things on your own, they are going to be nowhere near the degree of what the Lord has in store for you.
But the thing that I really wanted to share about Abraham and Sara is their faith. We all look to Abraham’s faith as something we want to achieve and we are so encouraged by it. And we should be, it is so very encouraging, but the thing I don’t think we should miss is that Abraham had doubt too… His son was named “laughter” for crying out loud because Abraham laughed at God’s promise to Him. Your faith doesn’t have to be flawless, my friend. The Lord wants you to turn to Him even in your unbelief. As much as you desire for your faith to be strengthened, the Lord yearns for that even more. And He will give that to you in multitude!
If you’re like me and have desires on your heart that you don’t know if the Lord will ever fulfill, I challenge you to join me in returning to the cross because the Lord would return to that cross day after day just for YOU. HE HAS YOUR BEST. Relax. In the meantime He desires an intimate relationship with YOU. The only thing in this life that is actually going to fulfill the deepest desires of your heart is an intimate relationship with your Father, a true friendship. Lysa Terkeurst says it best in her book “Uninvited,” “He is jealous for you. He is jealous for me. The fullness of His love and lavish acceptance is the only match for the rejections we will experience. And He absolutely doesn’t want us making other relationships the false gods of our worship. As we seek love and acceptance, God doesn’t want us to test Him, God wants us to trust Him.”
“Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.”