I really wanted to post the song "Carried to the Table" by Leeland yesterday in honor of Good Friday. All week long I've been thinking about how the day Christ died is commemorated by being called "Good Friday." At the same time I've been faced constantly with my brokenness and weaknesses, and how on my own I can do nothing. And I am so thankful for the day that Jesus Christ became sin for me, was separated from God his Father, and surrendered his own will so that we might have eternal life, though we don't even deserve it. What was so terrible for him is truly good for you and me. How can we ever comprehend this unbelievable love the Father has for us?! It's unfathomable, yet I am overcome with gratitude for this incredible sacrifice that forever changes our eternity when we believe and follow Him.
"And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God's love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow--not even the powers of hell can separate us from God's love." Romans 8:38
I'm aware that to even begin to appreciate and honor Christ's goodness and the gift of salvation, we must first face our weaknesses and the sin in our own hearts. I recently had a conversation with a friend who finds it frustrating that people seem to only put their "best foot forward" online and make their lives seem like they're perfect, whether on Facebook or in the blog world. It made me think of how much I never want to portray that...yet it's often difficult to open up my brokenness to all and let others see my sin. I'd much rather come up with some eloquent words and sentences that focus on the "pretty" parts of my life.
"But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me." 2 Corinthians 12:9
Well, I'm here to tell you that I desperately need a Savior. There is a whole lot about me that just isn't pretty. The only good in me truly comes from Christ alone. On my own I am painfully prideful, insecure, judgmental, critical, and vain. I don't always build others up and I often speak in an unkind tone with hurtful words to my husband and those that I love. I can be easily angered and impatient. I struggle to not let others thoughts of me define my worth and thoughts of myself. I consider myself too much and I struggle with comparing myself to others. I've struggled with anorexia. I've struggled with emotional eating and being overweight. I struggle to be vulnerable and admit when I am wrong. I become anxious when I should trust, and I am often selfish when I should be putting others first. I have struggled with depression. I don't like to feel out of control and I struggle with sarcasm. I am forgetful and scatterbrained. At times I'm not even close to being a good friend. If you saw my home you would feel great about yours...because unlike many, it doesn't make me crazy when my home is not perfectly organized...but I often feel like I'm failing because of it. I used to keep my door closed in college and miss out on relationships because I was embarrassed by my inability to keep a tidy room.
"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." John 15:5
The list could go on...but the point remains...I NEED A SAVIOR. Any and all fruit and beauty in my life comes from God alone...anything that's good in me is all Jesus - I can take credit for nothing. My relationship with Him is the source from which anything I might be tempted to boast about comes from. He is faithful and gracious, full of goodness and mercy. I am brought to my knees by his forgiveness and redemption in my life. Because while I am so weak, He is always strong.
"But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our sins; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed." Isaiah 53:5
Lately I've been listening to the following song often...and any facade I may portray is shattered by its truths. In honor of Good Friday and the day before Easter, I listen to it in remembrance of what my Lord and Savior did for me and for you...simply because of His great love for his children, His creation that He longs to live in relationship with. I reflect on my brokenness and his sacrifice today...and tomorrow I sing praises in honor of his resurrection and that he is alive! Death could not claim him and the tomb could not contain him - and now we too are victorious over it as well. What a day that will be when we can stand face to face with Him in heaven...or down on our knees in response to his glory...all because Jesus came, died, and rose again. All that we might live. We are chosen, we are called, and in our weakness, we are carried by He who is strong. Thank you Lord.
"Even in my weakness, the Savior called my name; in His holy presence, I am healed and unashamed." Leeland, "Carried to the Table"
And he said, "The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life." Luke 9:21
"But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead." Phil. 3:7-10