well, in the beginning of march, we all went to this hillsong concert but i felt dry. i felt like i couldn't "feel" God, and if i didn't feel God, there must be something wrong with me or God isn't really there, you know? next morning, i hit a huge spiritual low and i was super lost. i ended up hiking at irvine regional park, which, by the way, is a beautiful place. =] i hiked around for about 5 hours, listening to the new hillsong album and marveling at creation and remembering that God made all of that and then spent all this time on me and cares about me more than all of the trees, birds, lakes, mountains, etc. i found a little tree where i sat under and i started reading the gospel of mark. i finally got to the part where Jesus was in the garden before He was about to get turned in by Judas and He was asking His disciples to just stay awake with Him as He was praying to the Father. all He needed was for His friends to stay awake with Him because He was in so much pain and anguish because He knew what was going to happen to Him in the next couple of hours. that was the part that got me.
Jesus knew what was coming soon. He knew the torture and the pain that He was going to endure. He was asking God if there was something else He could do, some other way. but there wasn't. but did Jesus run away? no. did He change His mind? no. He chose His Father's will over His. He loved the Father. and He loved us. He marched right up to the soldiers that were searching for Him and turned Himself in. when He was given chances to free Himself and say He was anyone other than who He said He was, He spoke boldly that He was the Son of God. even before pilate, Jesus stood His ground and told the governor that he had no power over Him other what God had given him. willfully, sacrificially, lovingly, Jesus laid down His body to be beaten, tortured, spit on, trampled on, mocked at, so that we could be free from our sin. so that we could be free from what separates us from God. He did all of this for us. for me.
wow. what love. the cross had meaning to me again. not because of some music concert. not because of some church rally. not because of a really good sermon. it was because i was spending time with God, learning again about what Jesus for me that day. i was rejuvenated not by some act of man, but simply by reading His Word and spending time with Him. i found strength again. after hiking, a couple of us went to rock harbor to see john mark mcmillan. john was sharing about carbon ribs and what it was based on. the story of mephibosheth. king david loved his best friend, jonathan. so when jonathan died, david wanted to bless his family somehow. so he sent people to found any blood relatives of jonathan. and they found mephibosheth. the only thing was, mephibosheth was dropped as a child and consequently broke his legs. so he was a cripple. so he didn't understand what the king wanted to do with him. he said that he was nothing but a dead dog to him. he couldn't work, he couldn't be of any help. but still david invited him to eat at his table. john mark then shared about how he felt that he was a cripple because of something he had nothing to do with, but because of who his father was, he got to sit at the seat of honor, next to the king.
man. i'm born into this weary and broken world. and i've been broken and made weary by such a world. i had nothing to do with it. i couldn't have done anything. how could i have known? but because of who my father is. i get to sit at the seat of honor. i'm loved because my father is the Father. my father is the God of love, the God who chases, who redeems, who saves. i can't do anything for Him. He doesn't need my money, He doesn't need my services, He doesn't need my songs, He doesn't need anything that i have to offer. but He wants me. He calls me His own, His son. He freely calls me that. what a love that is. i've never experienced anything like it before. i don't think a lot of people do.
there's so much more, but i'll cap it off for now and i'll fill in more of the blanks soon. but just from this, i remember my mission again. to let people know that there is love that doesn't demand anything of them. yes, as Christ followers, God wants us to pick up our crosses, but He doesn't love us any less if we're struggling with it, if we get side tracked, if we take a super long time to figure it out. He loves us regardless!! He didn't die for the people who are willing to work for it. He died for the Christ followers and He died for those who don't even know Him yet! His love is free! We just need to accept it! what joy it is to know the comfort and peace of Jesus Christ! people need to know about Him!