I could hazard a guess that if I were to ask how you were the word “busy” would appear at some point in your answer. It seems to be the default answer nowadays and almost what we are expected to say. Busy means successful and fulfilled right? We wear the “busy” like a badge of honour as if it is something to aspire to. Yet answering “busy” says nothing about our enjoyment of life or even whether we are “achieving” in life! Being busy should not be our identity or goal. If anything it merely suggests an overwhelmed schedule. More often than not the answer “busy” is given with an undertone of tiredness and exhaustion.
In the pace of busyness it is our personal margins of space that are neglected. The time to take a pause, to rest is what is sacrificed and we are easily left overwhelmed, tired and feeling much like we’re only one nostril above water. Yet, in this life where technology keep us continually connected to work and the online world we can find space in the pace. We can find balance within the crazy.
We find it in GRACE. God’s grace.
Grace is an important and powerful spiritual reality. It is a resource that we have unlimited access to through Jesus. God’s grace helps and empowers us through busy seasons of life. In the crazy pace of life God has grace for us. It is fuel, it is a supernatural enabling for us. God’s grace empowers and strengthens us.
“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)
I’m heading overseas shortly. Not for long, but an International flight will be involved. So as a result I will queue up more than once as I process through check in, immigration, security, customs etc. I can’t circumvent these steps, it’s part of the journey to enable me to visit a distant land. My destination and purpose of my trip (work!) will keep me patiently queuing and standing and waiting. I’ll endure it all so I can get to my destination. I know that on the other side is the plane for me to board and the country for me to visit.
During Lent, we can give pause to think of Jesus on the before side of the Cross, His death and His resurrection. How must He have felt? How must He have longed to avoid it? To avoid the pain, the suffering, the horror. Jesus, while fully God was also fully man, so this journey to the Cross would not have been without fear or anguish. Yet He pressed on, He continued. He rode into the City of Jerusalem knowing He was days away from arrest and crucifixion. He shared Passover with His disciples knowing that this side of the Cross it was the last meal that He would share with them.
Why did He stay on this journey to the Cross? Why did He endure it?
For us! For you, for me! Out of love for us and love for the Father. For our redemption. How incredible, what a sacrifice that Jesus would endure all of this, for us, to restore us as sons and daughters of God.
“For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. ” (Hebrews 12:2)
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)
Easter’s a-coming and you don’t even have to look at a calendar to know that! One walk through a supermarket will show you – the selling of Easter eggs and hot cross buns has begun. But this time of year is about much more than the anticipation of Easter Eggs or the enjoyment thereof (not that I have!), this time of year is about remembering the journey that Jesus took to the Cross.
It’s a season known on the Church Calendar as Lent. It’s a time to reflect, remember and consider this pivotal time in history. In these precious 40 days we remember the journey that Jesus undertook to the Cross. His arrest, the betrayals, the beatings and the crucifixion. We open our hearts afresh to the wonder that Jesus – Son of God would lay down His life for us and then the miracle and the victory that would come from His resurrection.
Churches often encourage the sacrifice or giving up of something – a particular food, an activity – during this season. By doing this it gives us a trigger or a reminder to keep our hearts turned towards Heaven. The reminder comes as we experience the gap in our lives from what we have chosen to go without. The removing of something from our lives gives us more space to remember, to consider the most amazing demonstration of love of our God for us. Lent reminds us that the Son of God had to willingly walk a path to death. For without this journey there is no Easter Sunday. There can be no Resurrection without a death first.
As we countdown to Easter Sunday let us consider what Jesus did for us, endured for us. I am sure then that our hearts will be filled afresh with awe of this season and Easter Sunday our hearts will overflow with the celebration that He is Risen!
Christ has died!
Christ has risen!
Christ will come again
“Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:12)
Last week it was our School Swimming Sports. I joined other parents on the bleachers as we cheered our kids on. As each heat raced, everyone cheered the winners, the brave, the trying very hard, the fast ones and the last ones. We cheered, applauded and celebrated their victories. I rejoiced with my sons as they celebrated their successes.
As I sat on the bleachers, amongst a supportive crowd, there for the purpose of witnessing their children swim and to cheer them on, I thought of another crowd of witnesses. This crowd is cheering us on. This crowd is watching us run our race for God and cheering us, willing us on. They’re celebrating our victories and willing us to cross the finish line
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us (Hebrews 12:1)
So hang in there. Your race – your life matters. Go for it! Be brave and do your best.