"For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead..." Romans 1:20

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Guarding the Tomb

This is a depiction of the soldiers guarding Jesus' tomb taken from the children's Bible my parents gave to me when I was three:

The chief priests and Pharisees didn't want the body of this "imposter" to be stolen so that his followers could claim he'd risen from the dead as he had said he would.  Scripture doesn't tell us what the disciples did or thought those hours between his burial and his eventual resurrection.  Peter had already made his denial of knowing Jesus--three times.  He was probably still feeling haunted by it since he'd earlier declared he'd never do such a thing.  

This morning I came back to bed as usual with my cup of coffee ready to read my devotionals and write in my journal.  I'd already turned on my computer and could see my Mail application on the screen across the room.  Something caught my eye in the area below the e-mails waiting to be opened where no text should appear.  Then it disappeared.  That was strange I told myself.  When it happened again I jumped out of bed to see what it was!  Was I receiving a "message" out of the ether?!  As it turns out I was, but not as I thought.  It was caused by my computer's cursor pointing at the number indicating how many e-mails were in that mail box...you know, how if you let the cursor hover over certain things it'll give you information about that feature.  The message appearing was "1 unread message," but the message for me was I mustn't let my imagination run away with me!  I must always first look for a logical explanation for things I don't understand.  

I'm sure this is what happened when Jesus' body was discovered missing.  People looked for a logical explanation, and there are people still who want to believe there is only a logical explanation.  For them it was/is only an excuse, though, because when proof was provided they still didn't/don't believe.  But.....even if you choose to go with the logical explanation concerning any unusual happening there always remains a greater message that mustn't be missed since God uses natural happenings to reveal Himself to us.  In my case, God took my experience this morning concerning the placement of the cursor and paired it with my devotional readings to open up a truth to me that I hadn't quite grasped yet.
He involved me in the lesson, you see, and now I finally understand!  The first devotional I read talked about loving others for the right reason--not in order to get love back.  This is something I've always struggled with, as I wrote in yesterday's post.  At any given moment some past hurt will surface and I'll feel anything but loving and that is even after I've forgiven them.  Every time this happens I feel like I'm Peter denying he knows Jesus. 

Then I read a quote from George Fox, the founder of Quakerism.  He wrote about his own struggles with his natural state, "And then the Lord did gently lead me along, and did let me see his love, which was endless and eternal, and surpasseth all the knowledge that men have in the natural state, or can get by history or books; and that love let me see myself as I was without him."  That was what I was to understand!  When my "cursor" is pointing at me I see myself as I am without God.  But when I point the "cursor" at Him, it is Him that I see.  Those unloving feelings I worry so much about are a part of every person--even George Fox--and they have the potential to always be there in the background waiting to pounce on me like a roaring lion.  Now I understand--they are left there, in fact, to remind me what I am without God.

The soldiers guarding the tomb are like my attempts to keep my humanness from escaping.  It won't work.  Even once I forgive I must still deal with my self-centeredness and to do that I must take my eyes off myself and put them on God because that is how He shows me the Way and gives me all I need to love even those who can't or won't reciprocate.  It's not about me.  Lord, It's All About You.  Like in yesterday's song, Unbounded Grace, "God's grace does not on me depend." 

Father, thank you for helping me understand that I need only take my eyes off myself, as well as the other person, and instead put them on You.

Link to scripture: http://mlbible.com/galatians/2-20.htm

Take action: Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

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