Sunday, April 11, 2010

like a child.

as a little girl i watched christian movie after christian movie. every week at church we would mosey on down to the church library and check out 2 books and a movie. oh my brother and i loved colby's missing memory, and we also loved psalty. that jolly old singing songbook did our hearts good. our favorite was psalty, kids praise 5. the camping adventure.

there was one part of the story that i loved far more than all the others. when two of the kids got lost in the forrest and were scared and alone, they began to sing; i cast all my cares upon you. i walked around singing that song for days, weekes, months, and years. i belted it out, and i took it to heart.


as a child it is so easy to cast your cares upon Jesus. my parents always came in and tucked me in and we said our nightly prayers together. as a little girl i simply prayed for whatever was on my heart. i cast every worry of my day on Jesus, every worry in life. i prayed the words, and i knew that He would take care of it. i prayed for God to help my aunt and uncle stop smoking. i prayed that my brother and i would have fun tomorrow, and that my dad would work hard at work. when my grandpa had cancer, i would simply pray every night that God heal my grandpa. one night as we were praying my mom noticed that i didn't pray for my grandpa. "melinda, didn't you want to pray for your grandpa?" "nope. God already made him better." i was confident, and i didn't think he needed to pray for him anymore. not wanting to squash my simple faith, my mom simply nodded her head, and probably shed a few tears. in the next couple of weeks my grandpa went in for some tests, and do you know what they found? his cancer was gone. the doctors called it a miracle. they couldn't explain it. but it seemed all the cancer was gone. he was perfectly well again.

God had answered my prayers. He heard my cries, He saw my cares, and He had answered my prayers. as a child, i knew He would answer, i knew He would take care of me. i could let go of my fears, i could take things out of my own heart and head and give it over to Him. i had faith knowing He could handle what i could not.

as i grew older, it became harder and harder to cast my cares upon Him. it becomes harder and harder for any person to do as they grow older. you lose that child like faith. you want to take control. it is not as easy to cast your cares into the great unknown. you think if you can keep that tightly wound in your had, that you can handle it better. i am guilty of this every day. i have seen a million times in my life, and in others, that is doesn't work. but ti doesn't keep me from trying. we can't take care of it ourselves, we can't do it alone. and when you try to hold on to those worries, take control of your problems, keep them clenched tightly in your fist, you will only feel more pressure, more strain, more pain. the second you let it go, you feel peace. the kind of peace that can come from only Him. and you can sometimes, almost instantly, see the doors open, and problems disappear. you can see the hand of God working His will into your life. He was just waiting for you to hand it over to Him. He likes to take care of us, He likes to answer our prayers. He likes to see us happy, and give us the desires of our heart.

knowing that He loves to take care of us, He loves for us to cast our cares upon Him, why is it so hard? why do we hold on to what we can not control? fear. uncertainty. control. lack of faith. there are a million reasons. but. but, there are a million more reasons to let it go. give it to Him. cast your cares upon Him, like you could when you were a child. feel the peace of giving it to Him. feel the joy of doing what He asks. let Go, and see what He does. Cast all your cares upon Him.

"Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you."
1 Peter 5:7

"Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart."
Psalm 37:4

"And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."
Matthew 18:3

Friday, April 2, 2010

happy easter

all year do you know what i wait for... the reeses peanut butter egg. it is my favorite reeses of the year. the peanut butter to chocolate ratio is the best of any reeses all year. and when i see those yellow wrappers start to pop up in store windows, and at the front of cash registers. my heart leaps. it is my favorite part of spring. it means sunshine is coming, it means green grass, and tulips, and warm spring showers, are just around the corner. it means new life, and it means my pants are going to be a bit too tight if i keep buying one of those darn eggs every time i am at the register.

but spring is not just reeses eggs and tulips and sunshine. it isn't just bunny rabbits and paper grass filled baskets. it isn't easter egg hunts, and roast and mashed potatoes. spring is so much more.

it is new life, new beginnings, resurrection.

it is blood shed, and uncompromising love. it is forgiveness, and fresh starts. it is promise, and hope, and faith.

it is life.

every year i get so lost in dyeing eggs, and peanut butter eggs, and tulips, and sunshine, and trying to lose those extra 10 pounds before warm weather clothing season. i get so lost, that i forget to stop and think about what spring holds. promises. forgiveness. life.

and the reason we can celebrate is because someone far bigger than us, gave their life. sacrificed himself. gave His life, so that we may live.

God sent His Son Jesus, to this earth, to live a perfect a life. to live a perfect life, so that He could save us. God knew there was one way to give us all a life. and besides breathing breathe into our bodies, creating us with the utmost love and care; He gave us he greatest gift of all. His Son. and Jesus came to this earth as a baby boy, knowing full well the responsibilities that lay ahead of Him. He cam to this earth, to live and to save. The one thing that could pay for our sin, the one thing that could give us new life, new breathe, an eternity with God, was the blood shed of His only Son. and Jesus willfully gave it for us. He sacrificed Himself, so that we may have life.

I love this scene from The Passion of The Christ. Jesus is praying in the garden, talking to His father. He knows what is to come, He knows that soon He will draw His breathe. He knows that soon He will be beat, and humiliated, and slaughtered. He knows what is to come. and int hat moment... he prays. for strength, for courage, for an out. He asks if there is any other way Lord, please let it be. But if there is not, let Your will be done, not mine. Let me be the living sacrifice that saves these people from themselves, from their sin, from an eternal death. As He prays, in the movie, Satan comes to Him. satan says to Him; "Do you really believe that one man can bear the full burden of sin? No one man can carry this burden, I tell you, It is far too heavy. Saving their souls is too costly. No one. Ever. No. Never."

(start at 4:40)

It seemed impossible that one man can carry that burden. and it was too heavy, saving their souls was too costly. it cost Him His life. and it was my sin that held Him to that cross. my sin was the reason he had to die. He died for me. He died for everyone, but if I were the only person on the earth, He still would have died. because, i would have needed it. i would be unable to save myself. my sin held Him to that cross. My sin, Mine, Me. It was for me.

after seeing The Passion of The Christ, i said if i ever sin again, it will be too soon. and i meant it. i saw in pictures like i had never seen before, what my sin did to the one who loved me more than anyone else ever did. or ever could. and you know what, i can guarantee you that i didn't make it an hour before i sinned again. because that is who i am. human. i sin. i do it ever day, every hour, sometimes every minute. and that is why i needed Jesus. i needed Him to save me. i needed Him to sacrifice Himself. i needed Him to shed every drop of blood that He shed. i needed Him to die, so that i may live. and He drew that last breathe on that cross for everybody, for you... He drew that last breathe for me.

but the story did not end there. because the morning came... death didn't win. life won. 3 days later, the morning came, and Jesus was alive. and when he came to life, he had succeeded. He showed that the cost was great, but not too great. He showed that one man can carry this burden. He showed his undying love for us, for me. He showed that we too can have life.

They all walked away, with nothing to say,
They'd just lost their dearest friend.
All that He said, now He was dead,
So this was the way it would end.
The dreams they had dreamed were not what they'd seemed,
Now that He was dead and gone.
The garden, the jail, the hammer, the nail,
How could a night be so long.

Then came the morning, night turned into day;
The stone was rolled away, hope rose with the dawn.
Then came the morning, shadows vanished before the sun,
Death had lost and life had won, for morning had come.

The angel, the star, the kings from afar,
The wedding, the water, the wine.
Now it was done, they'd taken her son,
Wasted before his time.
She knew it was true, she'd watched him die too,
She'd heard them call Him just a man,
But deep in her heart, she knew from the start,
Somehow her Son would live again.

Then came the morning, night turned into day;
The stone was rolled away, hope rose with the dawn.
Then came the morning, shadows vanished before the sun,
Death had lost and life had won, for morning had come.

Then came the morning, shadows vanished before the sun,
Death had lost and life had won, for morning had come.

Morning had come.

Then Came The Morning
Bill Gaither

and that is what spring is about. new life. new life, that we have because Jesus gave His. new beginnings. forgiveness. forgiveness that God lavished on us, and we should lavish on others. Hope. Hope in Christ, and hope in things to come.

there is nothing wrong with eggs, and baskets, and bunnies, and tulips. but let us not lose sight of what the true meaning of easter is. let us not forget the death and resurrection, let us not forget the new life we were given, and the life that was sacrificed for us.

"But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed." Isaiah 53:5