I have debated on starting a blog for a while now. What do I have to say that has yet to be said?
I recently figured out that I need to be reminded of these words come out of this blog… probably more than you do. But in the midst of a task-filled life I tend to forget the Cross. Doesn’t that sting? The Cross- the only truth that should consume the whole of our lives, the very thing that gives us the strength to take a real breath and have real life. I forget The Cross because I am distracted by my circumstances.
I forget because I have to make sure I take my trash out and pack my suitcase for the next trip Bellarive takes.
With that in mind, the intention of this blog is to encourage you and I to shift our gaze back towards the Cross- to remember the defining, unmatched act of Love that is worthy of eternal celebration. If it does not point you there and all you hear is a twenty-something blabbing on about how their opinion is the right one, go ahead and stop reading while hearing me say, “I’m super sorry”.
“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good- His love endures forever.” – Psalm 136:1
I have always focused on the first part of this verse- “Give thanks“. It’s actually sweet timing, for what could be more appropriate than to come before Him with our hands open, our heart lifted and squealing through a joyful smile, “Thank You, Dad!” for the hell that He lovingly saved us from.
But circumstances have this nagging way of wearing us down. Wearing us out. Causing us to lose focus.
Circumstances breed exhaustion. Exhaustion’s game includes wooing us away from running the race God has called us into, to instead lead us down any rabbit trail whose goal is to numb the pain. Seen any of the rabbit trails like vanity, alcohol, sex, entertainment, the applause of others… the list goes on?
Exhaustion shifts gazes from the Kingdom to self. Shifts it from looking upward to looking inward. We become too tired to think about anyone but ourselves.
So I was reading the 2nd part of the verse the other day, and it just hit me real hard – “His love endures forever“.
Endure. The King of Kings. His love endures. Hm.
I couldn’t shake it, so I looked it up.
Endure- suffer (something painful or difficult) patiently.
Do you hear that?
God suffers patiently for you and me and Kingdom come. From everything that I have read through His Scripture, He is not going to stop enduring until His Kingdom actually does come… which makes me want to fist pump.
His love endures through the horrendous, through the faults and failures caused by our insecurities, through clouds, rain, through the hospital visits that end in funerals, through the dark nights of the soul, through the silence, through natural disasters and man-made monsters. He endures those things WITH us and FOR us. See, He can’t help but remember the end goal of the Kingdom. He knows that this world started in a beautiful garden and is ending is a sacred City.
So why don’t we remember this when we are going through seasons of endurance? And hear me on this- there will be seasons of trial, when we feel like we are actually crazy for following the dreams God has given us, for enduring when everyone else thinks you are a wacko. I’m getting anxious even thinking about it.
Seriously- stop for a moment and think about it. When have you had to “endure” a great day? No. You enjoy the days of sunshine, crisp skies, conversations with best friends, donuts in the morning, Chick-fil-A for lunch and Longhorn Steakhouse for dinner. You do not endure days like that. You enjoy.
At the end of all this, I’m left with the meek question:
Why does God endure for us?
Why would God endure forever for us, this broken humanity that on its very best day is a bunch of filthy rags raised to Heaven? Why?
The only answer I can give you and I is that because of His great love for us, He endures. He endures even to death and back again for the mystery of His promise that He is the groom, we are His bride and we are grafted into the Kingdom celebration.
At the very moment I remember the mystery, it leads me to thankfulness. Because honestly… what else can we do? The King of Kings endures this life with us by His never ending love. My spirit just has to scream “Hallelujah”!!
So if you’re enduring today- you are not alone. If you are suffering today, may you suffer patiently with your Creator. May we run this Heavenly race through all of our circumstances, temptations and trials because He has already won that race. We may surely be stumbling, falling, parched and desperately desiring to quit- but take heart, for He has already overcome. He has endured the world and won. May the God of all grace give you encouragement and hope as you trust in Him. May He give you Kingdom energy to run the race He has graciously marked out for you.
Press on, friend.