Thursday, October 10, 2013

And the Winner Is........!

I had a conversation last night with someone who just came back from our other home.  He was on a team that Steve just hosted there. (Steve comes back Friday night, yay!)  As he said he had expected, this man came back with more questions than answers.  A fresh glimpse into the dark side of humanity and lots of "Whys?" and "Hows?" that there just isn't a simple answer for.  

I heard another man speak last night who spent part of this past year researching slavery world-wide.  He expressed the burden that he now bears because of what he has learned and how in some ways he wishes he hadn't asked the questions to start with.

It's important to ask the questions.  To open our eyes and let our hearts break with what breaks His to become his hands, feet, and ambassadors in this world.  But for the past few days I've had a fresh reminder of the reality of the position that we face the world in.

"It is finished."  
(John 19:30)

These words have been ringing in my mind for the past few days.  Because while destruction and death appear to reign in the world the TRUTH is that, "It is finished."  The battle has already been won.  We still live with the fallout around us of sin, but there is HOPE because while we're still fighting the battle and find ourselves in the midst of the fray-----the battle is actually won.  The blood of Jesus reigns Supreme.

And that gives us renewed energy and courage.  We're on the winning team!  Since marrying a Kiwi I've become a pretty avid supporter of the All Blacks (Except when Fiji plays 7's games.  Then I'm still kind of partial to them.  But for 15's I'm an All Black girl.).  It's just a bunch of men on the field with a ball, but they represent a tiny nation and handle that ball really, really well.  They play with determination, but since they've won a lot in the past couple of years, there's often a point in the game where they know that they just need to hold on to win.  They still take the blows with their bodies on the field, they still have to work as a team and keep their focus, they still have to battle their challenger and listen to their captain, but something changes and they play with a joyful abandon that comes from being pretty sure that they've won.

But we KNOW that He's, and therefore we've, already won!  It is finished.

Happy sigh!

Somehow that perspective can make a huge difference in our hearts.  It can lift us out of the day to day sludge of the world around us, it can bring peace into pain, hope into suffering, and joy into the fierceness of the fight.

C.S. Lewis said, "The human spirit will not even begin to try to surrender self-will as long as all seems to be well with it.....But pain insists upon being attended to.  God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience but shouts in our pain: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world."

It is finished, we can stand on that, but the pain we see around us or feel in our own hearts has purpose:  to draw us and others to him.

Sarah Young who writes from God's perspective to us says,"Since I am infinite, 'impossibilities' are My speciality.  I delight in them because they display My Glory so vividly.  They also help you live the way I intended: in joyful, trusting dependence on Me."

"Jesus looked at them and said, 'With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.'" 
(Matt. 19:26)

He is the God of the impossible.  The impossible problems around us, the impossible hurt of a dying and decaying world, the seemingly 'impossibles' in our hearts.

“I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!”
(Mark 9:24)


Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,

though the olive crop fails

    and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
    and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
    I will be joyful in God my Savior."  (Hab. 3:17-18)

Because it is finished.  The tomb is empty.  His blood reigns supreme.  The enemy is defeated.  And while we're still in the thick of the fight and sometimes it may look like we're losing, Jesus has ALREADY won.  

"It is finished."  The voice of a still suffering Champion who even while He was on the cross, He knew the final score.