Thursday, March 28, 2013

as it is in heaven..

On this Maundy Thursday I am reflecting on the incredible journey that Jesus took in this particular week of history.  In my womens' Bible study today we were considering how incredible it must have been for the disciples to walk side by side the incarnate Savior of the world on a daily basis..witnessing His facial expressions, His words, His prayers, laughter, and tears.  On this Maundy Thursday evening He served them the Last Supper, the intimate encounter that would foreshadow His death and our salvation.  As I read how they dined side by side with Him, heard His precious voice sing a hymn, and had their feet washed by the King of the Universe, I find myself in awe of their subsequent failure to stay awake with Him and pray in the Garden of Gethsemane.  And yet, I also find myself there.  Am I at watch, alert, and steadfast in prayer before the Father as Jesus asked them... (and us) to be?  Can I stay truly spiritually awake even one hour? Jesus expects no less of us than He did His disciples, nor is He unwilling to equip us with the same power they later attained through the Holy Spirit.  He had taught them to pray, "Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven..."  He wants us to live with spiritual eyes and ears, with an understanding that He will bestow upon us the beautiful freedom and hope that only comes from heaven.  

As my mind considers what it could be like for His will to be done "on earth as it is in heaven", I am taken back to the Garden of Eden...where it must have been enveloped by God's holiness, glory, and protection.  He had provided all that they needed in a lush and fruitful place.  Yet, the choice they made in that garden contrasted greatly to the choice Christ made in another garden...humanity chose sin, pride, and death.  Jesus chose obedience, humility, and His own death in order for God's glory to be revealed and for His people to be free.   Surrounded by an already fallen world and snoozing disciples, He was so distraught that He literally bled.  It is an agony we cannot truly comprehend.  But He did, and in choosing to embrace the will of God set in motion the beautiful rescue that changed the world forever.  

In my own life, though I have trouble and turmoil, I will never truly relate to  the pain and suffering that Jesus submitted to that night.  I may at times feel that having a special needs child is such a unique challenge that it surely puts my suffering quota ranking high on "the list" can be a haunting view to look down the lens of a life like Landen's that is full of lots of "nevers" and devoid of equal opportunities.  But the Lord is good, and He not only revives me when I am weak, but He fills me with hope and vision when I trust in Him.  When I stay awake to earnestly pray and to begin to see this fallen world for what it is...and for what it is not, my anxiety decreases.  It is not heaven.  It is not our home.  But power comes in weakness, and joy comes from ashes.  I would dare to say that I see heaven's reflection much more clearly through the  haziness of struggle, because in the absence of pain, I would probably not even search.  So I am thankful for the amazing example that Christ set for us in the garden that night, where, though beautiful, its' backdrop was an already broken world, and Christ, though surrounded by friends, was excruciatingly lonely.  He overcame it all so that we might see heaven on earth, ushering it in as we earnestly pray and seek His face.
  Landen looking for birds...=)

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful insight Jess. I have known that you became Christs child more than "my child" when you accepted Christ as your savior at 8 yrs old. He brought you and me through so much in our growing up together and then with Mark - you have grown to be a true woman of God and I am thankful that you kept your eyes on Him even through the toughest times. You are an inspiration to me, even as your mom.
    Love each of you so much.