02 April 2015

Lead Me to the Cross

He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, "Master, are you going to wash my feet?" Jesus answered and said to him, "What I am doing, you do not understand now, but you will understand later."
 {John 13:6-7}

What I am doing now, you do not understand now, but you will understand later...
The cross.suffering. is not something I understand in my life right now. Sometimes to be honest I freaking hate it. Its scary and uncertain. I ask questions, wrestle, and ask God "Why?!". I beg, plead, and cry wondering what possible good can come from deep pain and suffering. It feels lonely and dark. It is so easy to ask "What's the point?!" What could possibly come from this in my life?!. 
And yet what is most painful and awful in life is what saves us...suffering. Jesus didn't redeem us by his miracles or teachings but by that. And in doing this, He has radically transformed all my sufferings. They have a place to go, on the cross. In my broken humanity, I see the answer as I look at Jesus. The answer? To the best of my ability to actively unite whatever the "it" is in life to the cross, even if I never understand or see the fruit from it in this life.

I have a sticky note on the bedroom wall right now, that every time I walk into the bathroom I glance at it. It reads: My sufferings are no more in vain than the cross was. What can possibly come from my sufferings? A chance to participate with Him in the salvation of the human race. At a glance that can sound like an overly romantic, fuzzy idea...but it certainly doesn't feel warm and fuzzy as you walk through living it. But the challenge is to hold on, persevere, and believe (even if I don't feel like it) that the most painful moments in life have a great, mysterious purpose.
I have been devouring a new book over the past two evenings, and it has been an insightful read on so many levels. God's way out of the mess sometimes leads us further into the mess. He draws us in deeper, because He wants to take us deeper. Suffering brings repentance, and the greatest lessons in life often do come in the hardest of ways.
Tonight Christians around the world will enter the three most sacred days of the liturgical year, the Triduum. We enter Jesus' most active moments of His life, when He was hanging there. And in the darkest, most difficult moments in life, that is when we are most alive, most active; when uniting it to Jesus hanging there on Calvary.

What God is allowing in life now, I do not understand...but someday I will. 
I'm just trusting in Your promise, all will be used for Your purposes and plans.
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  1. This hit me. I am a terrible, selfish sufferer; I want to avoid suffering at all costs (where most of my anxiety stems from) and when I can't, I want the whole world to suffer with me! I'm going to be chewing on these words especially for awhile: "...what is most painful and awful in life is usually what saves us...suffering." Thank you for your words of wisdom, have a blessed Easter!

  2. Kreeft's book is SO good. I also love C.S. Lewis' book "The Problem of Pain." They both help make suffering a little 'sweeter.' Happy Easter, Patty!

  3. I collect new church words. Triduum is new to me. Thanks! God can bring so much good from suffering!


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