Lent and Breath of Life…

wFor the Lord will not cast off forever, but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love;  for he does not afflict from his heart or grieve the children of men.  (Lamentations 3:31-33)

These are the words Jesus gave to comfort my heart today and remind me that His love is abundant.  It is steadfast.  He WILL have compassion—it is part of His very nature.  His compassion flows out of the abundance of His LOVE.

These days of Lent –of journeying to the cross—of looking to our Sin and to His grace are deep this year.  His silhouette carries the cross…the long road of suffering to lay down His very life.  As I watch, He beckons us to come.  He beckons us to lay down more of our earthly lives.  He draws with His love that we would love the eternal things.  The things that bring life and beauty and eternity to the hearts of men.  We want to be used of God, but sometimes we are not the chosen instrument…more it is being made more like Him.  Laying down our thoughts of what our days and purposes should look like.  Responding in Love. Living in Love.

Tonight my husband sits in the candlelight of this cross’s silhouette, not as a Savior, but as a servant.  Not as the Healer, but as a man offering his life, his skills and abilities to the One who equipped.  He is praying hard.  He is seeking wisdom.  He sits and studies. He is attempting to create a vent…a tool to give air and breath to a baby fighting for her life…and for many more that will approach this same battle in the days ahead.  An instrument that has sat in this hospital for months now, unusable, dusty, now may be a tool in the hand of another Instrument of God.  The cross leads the way, it has to. We have nothing to offer besides it.  Without the breath of Life, we are useless…our efforts are in vain.  This vent, this tool will fail.  This doctor and his skills will fall short.  But the mercy of the Lord never fails.  His death has already brought the fullness of joy and life.  My eyes are beginning to see more clearly what this laying down of His life –this sovereign gift really means here.  It means He saw it all and He provided for all.  He loved enough and He gave enough.  Our lives are merely to reflect His…to show this world what it means to give up our own rights, to lay down our lives…to Love and to offer our lives back—whatever that looks like in this day and this moment.

Father, teach us to love you.  Teach us to walk behind—in your steps, laying down as you ask, picking up as you ask…releasing more of this life—dying to our own selves, and looking to eternity.  You say, you placed eternity in the hearts of men, but I feel like my understanding of it is so small.  Wouldn’t I long more, hope more, rejoice more if I could deeply grasp that this life here is nothing.  Place eternity deep within me, Lord. 

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