Friday, March 24, 2017

The Door to the Father's Heart

Lent Day 24.

This morning, I begin a long journey across the ocean to London, and once there, I don't know about our internet capabilities. So, I may need to take a little break from posting while we're away (though I'll continue to pay attention to the spiritual preparation of Lent). If I have opportunity to post something - I will.

Today's "thought" is not an easy one for me.
I've struggled to write it.

It begins Ok-enough.
I'm just repeating the remainder of the sand-dollar-story.
Yesterday, we remembered Jesus' birth, death, and his wondrous resurrection.

However, to finish the story of the sand dollar...well, you have to break it.

Jesus was broken for us.
His body pierced and wounded.
His precious, compassionate heart ached; his inner turmoil was great.
So great, in fact, that as He prayed in the garden before His arrest, His sweat poured out in bloody droplets.
As He hung on the cross, and the soldier pierced His side, blood and water spilled to the ground.
All evidence of His broken heart.

I'd never broken a sand dollar on purpose.
I've seen plenty on sandy shores.
Why would anyone want to break open a rare treasure?
But, I wanted to see for myself if the accounting was true.

Honestly, I debated back and forth for some time.
I didn't want to break open this little thing of delicate beauty...
Crack it's fragile shell just to see what, if anything, was on the inside.
I fought it.
I whined about it.
Wasn't there another way to see what was in there?

Yet, I didn't want to just take the information for granted.
So, eventually, I broke down, and I broke the sand dollar.
It's true - five "doves" spill out (along with a lot of sand)...

The lesson is unmistakable.
Brokenness is a vital ingredient of the Christ-story.
We can't gloss over it.
We can't live in denial.
AND...the thing is....

I don't like brokenness.
I fight it.
I'm uncomfortable with it.
I whine about the process.
I ask the Lord, "Isn't there a better way?"
"Do I have to hurt?"

Yet, out of brokenness, God spills forth the beauty of the Spirit that lives inside.

Jesus understands.
He modeled brokenness for us.
His breaking allowed for the Spirit's coming...
That we might be filled to the full.
It's that same Spirit living in us that draws others to Him.

Yet, the Spirit is not ours to hoard.
The Spirit in us needs releasing.
So, now and again, the Lord allows our breaking, for the purpose of letting the Spirit loose...
...that the lost might see Him in us more clearly.

"The very thing we're afraid of, our brokenness, is the door to our Father's heart."
Paul E. Miller

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