Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Today has been one of those days. A day when I am discouraged. About everything. Even those things that are not discouraging normally. I have been worried about money for the adoption, about my kid's schooling, about my house, about the million little tiny things on my to-do list for Scouts, Heritage Girls, kids pictures, grocery buying, etc... I could make ten different lists from my one list.

I have been wanting to post about Easter and what I have been learning lately. I have been hesitant to post because I have been in such a bad mood, but then I realized that is when exactly when I need to write. It helps me to write and I need to tell these things to myself, especially when I am down. That is what the Gospel is for.

Our pastor encouraged us to read John 13-21 throughout this week to prepare our hearts for Easter. I was thinking Sunday in church that this week is what it is all about for Christians. Without this week in history there would be no Christians. I know there are some believers who even object to using the word Easter because it has it's roots in pagan Roman tradition, but its not really the words we use. Its what we are celebrating. We are celebrating the fact that a man died and rose from the dead. Yes, it can be hard to believe~it is supernatural. It's something that goes against everything we see and know. Its defies all reasoning. It seems too good to be true. But it is true. I know it is because my life is different. Its not perfect, its not goody-goody, but its entirely different than 18 years ago when I let go of trying to earn my salvation myself. The Gospel ~the simple fact that God loved we sinners and Jesus came to die and rise again to restore our broken relationship with God~ is for me when I was converted and is for me now~ as I struggle with believing that He really cares for me.

I noticed this passage for the first time two years ago. John 18:1-8. Jesus is in the garden praying and Judas and the Roman detachment of troops (about 200-600 men depending on what they thought necessary) came to arrest Jesus. Jesus looked at them and said, "Who are you seeking?" "They answered Him, Jesus of Nazareth." And then Jesus said, "I AM HE." Verse 6 says that when He said that "they drew back and fell to the ground." At that moment Jesus unveiled His majesty with his statement of Deity. It literally threw them to the ground. They could not stand up in His presence.

But then they got up after this moment was over, and arrested Him. I am amazed. I don't understand this, but it is true. How could they arrest Him and just go about their business of being a soldier. Didn't they just realize what had happened?

I do this everyday. I have been saved and changed by the same power that said "I AM HE" and yet I live so much of my life like nothing is different. I still battle with my flesh. I don't want to. I want to live a good life and do the "right"things. I want to honor God with my life. I want to be grateful for the salvation and grace that He gave me. But so many times I am not. But.... and here is where it can really get hard to believe. Just as I cannot earn my salvation with my works, I can not earn my sanctification or my right standing with God by my works. He loves me and Jesus' work on the cross is not dependent on my emotions on a particular day. Only He can change me daily as I run to the Cross over and over and turn it all over to Him. When I fail to live up to His perfect standards (which I do all day long) all I can do is give my failings to Him. As I learn more of Him and His grace and His Word He changes me and makes me different. It is not overnight. I have been a believer for 18 years and sometimes I think "what's the point, I will never change." But I have. I am redeemed. Saved from myself. I can't wait to get to heaven and see how His plan for me has all unfolded.

I'm not sure if this will make sense to anyone, but it's something I need to tell myself over and over. I was a woman dead in my sins and now I am alive in Christ. That's what I need to remember this Easter season. It's nothing I have done, it's everything that Jesus has done.