“For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.” Colossians 3:3
The way of life is a mystery to me. How is it that something long lost is suddenly revived and found beating again? How is it that the dead brown leaves make way for growth after winter?
Oh, I know the scientific answers. But the heart of it all is still a mystery to me. This morning I watched a Mama Robin in her nest building cycle. She was certain that last year’s left-over fluffy landscape netting would make fine nesting material. She tugged and pulled, and hopped and yanked, but the more she worked, the more tangled the strings became. Finally, after more patience than I would have shown, she gave up and left the knot lying in the yard.
I’ve faced those same kinds of knots. Have you? Those kinds that leave my weary mind reeling. Those kinds that stay knotted and twisted for years, as a situation refuses to be unraveled, and peace remains elusive.
In this newness of life where I walk with Jesus, I find myself on a knotted path filled with Chronic Illness. And I must ask, “How could illness fit in with the life of freedom that I have been promised? How could something that brings MORE pain lead me to healing?” It is then I remember the offer posed by C.S. Lewis in his myth-retold, Till We Have Faces,
“Die before you die
There is no chance after.”
It is in this very suffering, this daily dying to my own will, that I find a precious intimacy in learning HIS new way of living—His way of unraveling the knots. He has come to bring us HIS life, but in so doing, He has entered into our very places of knotting pain. As our Lord faced His own imminent suffering, His thoughts were on us:
Jesus turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children. Luke 23:28 NIV
And my own heart wept. Jesus took upon himself all of my pain, and all of the pain of my children. He took all of your pain also, even those knots that twist away in the muscles of your heart, leaving you gasping for air. He is right there, waiting to show you His love.
The problem is that we look away. We somehow grasp that He came to bring us salvation from OUR SINS. But our pain and our problems — well those must be unknotted and solved by our own wits. And just like Mama Robin, we walk away when the knots are too strong, and the web can’t be unwoven by any effort of our own.
But Jesus came to help us face the pain, to acknowledge the grieving, and to finally find HIM here loving us still, and rising again with LIFE for us all.
Are you suffering? Is there awfulness in your soul? Jesus stands beside you, my friend, and bids you follow Him to die before you die, to find a LIVING you never could have dreamed of.
Stillness At The Cross
My daughter sit with me
grieve and wail
for the injustice
that my people
for you, for them.
was torn open
as I carried
But my people
I see the wounds
I see the pain
I swallowed up death
and I swallowed the pain
in the Love that I gave
Sit with me here
Taste my mercy
There is nothing
between us now.