Wednesday, 2 October 2013
Found In Him Chapter 3: The Savior of My Minutes
The sun comes up, it’s a new day dawning…
That’s how the Matt Redmond song “10,000 Reasons” begins. But my day began differently, the alarm clock rudely waking me before the sun came up. It began with my trying to remember what day it was. Wondering if I am starting to catch a cold. Then shooting bolt upright when I realized it’s Thursday and I didn’t finish preparing for today’s classes.
I had tried to prepare, but my brain had shut down before I could finish. A familiar internal voice began to chide, Get with the program, Rondi, you’re behind schedule. You’d better figure this out. Get coffee. Do jumping jacks. Wake up and just do this!
Do you have an internal coach? The kind that tells you what a loser you are, then kicks you in the rear to “help” you get going?
Fortunately another voice interrupted my inner drill Sargent. Rondi, I’ve got this. Trust me for today. Ask me to help you. I know you’re weak, remember? I became weak, too, for you. I didn’t just come to save your life, I came to save your days. I’m even the Savior of your minutes.
Just Do It!
It’s no wonder we hate weakness–our culture doesn’t tolerate it either. It shouts at us from billboards, Just Do It! So we swish on our Nike Airs and try to run faster, jump higher. It preaches to us in wise Yoda tones, “There is no try. There is only do.” So we give ourselves a kick in the pants and hope the force turns out to be trustworthy.
The mantra of self-effort creeps into the church, too. I remember this quotable from a while back:
Who you are is God’s gift to you. Who you become is your gift to God.
I guess that means that God’s work is finished and now it’s all up to me. That only sounds like good news to me when I’ve had enough sleep and the car and refrigerator are both full. But today it just makes me feel like crawling back in bed. I need a Savior, not a life coach. A Savior who stays with me all the way to the end.
He Became Weak
This week in Bible study we got to see Jesus in the days and minutes of his earthly life. That’s how he lived his life of faith. Just like me he lived one day at a time, one minute at a time, through twelve years of childhood, eighteen years of budding manhood, three years of public fame, and the final days of desertion and death. Obscurity, fame, infamy. And he lived it all by faith, like I’m supposed to do.
Today we learned that “the Word became flesh and lived among us” means this. He became weak, like us. That’s because flesh is weak. Our flesh. His flesh. Jesus once said to Peter,
“Watch and pray so that you won’t enter temptation. The Spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
He was saying that, not just to Peter, but to himself. He was in the Garden of Gethsemane right then, pouring out his heart to his Father. His spirit was willing, but his flesh was weak, just like ours. He didn’t access his powers as God in that moment to overcome his weakness. He prayed, just like he tells us to do.
In that moment, and in every other moment of his weak, ordinary earthly life, he walked by faith. He did it so he could earn a righteousness to give to us. Because this is the life that pleases God, the life of trusting his strength, not counting on our own.
He Did It!
This is great good news for the weak. He did it! For us! As the nickle dropped for the ladies in our small group, we began to express our amazement:
- For the first time I’m comforted by Hebrews 4:15, that he sympathizes with my weakness. I can picture him having to do the dishes day after day and being tempted to get resentful, just like me. He felt what I feel! But he fought it.
- I never thought of him as really suffering when he was tempted. I always assumed he played the God card. But he didn’t. He really had to fight like I do.
- When Satan says, “How could you do that as a Christian?” I can say, don’t look at what I have done, look at what he has done. He did it! In weakness he lived by faith–for me.
- Maybe this was how his compassion for me was developed, one minute at a time, while he was here living in weakness for me.
These are just 4 of the 10,000 reasons we have to praise our Jesus today.
Bless the Lord, O my soul!
O my soul,
Worship His holy name.
Sing like never before,
O my soul,
I’ll worship Your holy name!