I asked him yesterday a question I have dared to ask myself, many times over through the years . . .
“If just one were to be saved because of your depression, would you choose to carry this cross?”
No hesitation between question and answer, his weakened voice answered affirmatively.
And there I heard Christ in another.
He had just told me how his doctor was concerned, how he hadn’t figured the medication quite right, how he would try yet another and hope for relief. Brain chemistry causing heart and soul agony has sat in the office chair, routinely over the past year, and a gentle psychiatrist has seen a soul love him like no other. Right there in the midst of his own dark, the wounded holds Christ love, Christ light for another to come along and walk first steps, a new creation born again. And he asks his doctor if he could pray with him—for him—and the doctor humbly says . . .
“Yes, please do.” And they bow their heads.
And I cry. I drop grateful tears for a soul sold out, so in love with our Savior, that he would bear this cross and cry as Jesus did . . .
“My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death . . . My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” Matthew 26:38-39
Yes. For just one, my friend would suffer.
Isn’t this the definition of holy suffering, that something wholly good would come from a seed being broken and buried? And we know that the broken open and the buried spring forth to new life in a little while, don’t we?
I see it every growing season, without fail, here on the farm. Seeds soaked with heaven’s tears, buried in the dark, bursting forth through heavy, and sprouting in the warmth of God’s sun, raising new leaf in praise.
God reminds us. This is the way to life—through death, through breaking open, through pouring out, through sacrificing all, starting with a humbling, a bending of heart and mind and will, to trust that God is good, that He WILL BRING GOOD from all the pain, all the brokenness.
He never intended—He never wished this hellishness upon us. We chose it. You and me and all humanity—WE chose it by refusing to bend, by freely exerting our will upon the God who created us to be brimming with love and peace and joy unending—to be fully alive in every way. We chose death. We chose pain. He told us surely we would die and we didn’t believe Him. But God’s word is true . . .
The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23
He still loves, our God does. He still loves us so, even in our hell-choices, even in our self-imposed soul prisons. And He loves too much to leave us bound. He comes to each and calls to all that we would BE FREE. He offered Himself as the KEY to glory. He suffered unto death for every, single, one of us to come back, to come back to true and full and eternal life with Him.
And those of us who know Him—who love Him—who follow Him? We must go the distance, even to the crosses He allows, even ordains, that another might be so awestruck by holy overcoming broken that just one more soul springs forth to new life—eternal life through bended knee to Jesus.
And here’s the love of God . . .
When we believe in our marrow there is holy purpose in our suffering, whether we see it or not, we can withstand anything, just as Jesus.
And this is what it means to be a real Christian . . .
Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:5-11
Even death on a cross? Even depression? Even cancer? Even abandonment? Even rejection? Even every pain one could possibly ever imagine?
Jesus took every pain one could possibly imagine, and far more, upon Himself that day on the cross and He allowed Himself to be spiked straight through and poured out—an innocent God-Man—to set us free from all that tortures and kills—body, mind, and soul. We are in process, all for whom He died. He has not forgotten. He will never forget WHY He died in anguish—for WHOM He died in agony. Jesus always looked beyond the cross, beyond the grave to the glory coming—to HIS glory coming.
Do we? Do we look beyond our crosses, beyond our pain, to the glory coming? There is no doubt. Glory is coming. Don’t we want all to be filled? Don’t we want all to be free?
Are not our momentary heartbreaks in the grand scheme of eternity WORTH it, if they grow us and help JUST ONE come along, right to the feet of Jesus who heals ALL?
He said “Yes.”
Jesus said “Yes.”
If only for JUST ONE, He would have still said yes to the cross.
Is there JUST ONE who will lay down life for JUST ONE? Imagine the spread of holy across this globe.
It only takes JUST ONE. Just one bended knee before the eternal King of Kings.
Will it be YOU? I hear the invitation, the plea, the hope in His voice.
“Yes,” I answer soft and trembling, because I’ve already counted the cost. I’ve already felt the heart and soul nails. And still I answer.
Even if FOR JUST ONE.
Because You would still have done it for me, if I were JUST THE ONLY ONE . . .
Praise the Lord, oh my soul, and all that is within me praise His holy name. Psalm 103:1
And remember, oh my soul, that though your eyes blur through pain sometimes, there is a new day coming. The sun will shine again. Because the SON shines eternal.