Time for sacrificing something in our march to the cross of Good Friday, to the tomb emptied of death Easter Sunday.
What will I give up this year?
I think it’s high time I give up myself. As in all of me. As in my hopes and dreams. As in my expectations and sense of entitlement. As in anything and everything I want or think I need more than God Himself. As in all my pet sins of omission and commission I keep hidden from the world and try to justify before the God of the universe.
The things so enticing we’ll do just about anything to have, to hold, to keep. Like being right. Like proving. Like pointing. Like seeing the speck and missing the log. Like refusing to stand because of a house full of others who might see—and remember—and cause grief for us somewhere down the line.
Hold that line!
Is our strength really in numbers? In a pack mentality? Isn’t that where all brutality begins? When we sink to the level of animals on the hunt?
Or is our strength in our human weakness—in recognizing our humble beginnings and endings before an all-powerful God who brought us in and will take us out whenever and however He pleases?
A “period of self-denial”, so says Webster.
Isn’t the whole of a Christian supposed to be about self-denial for the sake of Christ? Not just forty days?
Dust to dust, we are His creation and we’ll never know re-creation without His cross.
Oh Lord, help me again see the need for self-denial. Help me pick up my cross of suffering and serving. Just like You, Jesus. Change my heart, O God, and help me march toward Your cross, not away. Release me from my tomb of Self-will. And let this day be the first of far more than forty where I walk into the freedom of You—the Way, the Truth, and the Life of us all.
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save is life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. Matthew 16:24