A death and an invitation

At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split. Matthew 27:51

Have you ever stood, feet bare or protected, in a river’s rushing water? The river’s rocks slippery under your soles, the water colliding with your body somewhere between  ankle and knee? The river’s water pressure as it rushes by you feels strong enough to sweep you away too, taking you unwillingly along it’s travels downstream.

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Yet you stay placed, as the water sweeps by. Your body stronger against the current, your confidence deepening in your stance as moments pass along with the hastening river.

As the calm confidence settles your mind, the once roar of the rushing waves becomes a symphony to you, and the greasy rocks now glisten with polished colours like sun illuminated stain glass.

And you breathe, breathe freely and openly in this place now that the fear is edged out, replaced with the assurance that your posture will hold you from being swept away.

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My friend, I believe, know that is what God wants for you too. He wants you to breathe even when those thundering waves of difficulty threaten to sweep over you, to take you places along the currents you swore you would never go.

Sometimes these threats are pressures from relationships, where convictions and obedience are strongly opposed. That friendship, that mentor, that boss, that potential romantic partner you seemed to have waited for forever, is now asking you to join in to activities that once was the old way of living you turned from when cleansed that day in baptism, in acceptance of His way.

Sometimes threats can be from circumstances we never imagined we’d be in: a divorce, an estranged child, disease, a crime against us, and injustices.

We may even create our own threatening waves from our brokenness leading us to seek solace in things of this world that harm rather than bring life.

Yet Life is where we can turn to–no threat can defeat it.

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We celebrate this weekend the Hope that was given to us, the new way of freely living that opened to us with the tearing away of the veil.

Paul reminds us in Hebrews:

Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10: 19-23

This gift of freedom, this forever grace from our transgressions is due to the shed of blood on that cross of an innocent Man by ones who were slaves to their pride and self-righteousness–ones who felt threatened by the freedom that was being offered to them.

But you, my friend, can accept this freedom gifted through His offering to have your heart cleansed with the sprinkling of His grace, and your body washed to purity.

There is no barrier between You and the One who will not let the threatening rivers sweep over you. Will you accept His invitation to draw near to Him, the forever faithful One who will be your help, your protector, and your strength giving you His peace no matter how thunderous the rivers waters rush around you?

Will you, my friend, accept the invitation of an unconditional Love that surpasses all our understanding?

Jesus, I believe you are the Son of God, that you died on the cross to rescue me from sin and death and to restore me to the Father. I choose now to turn from my sins, my self-centeredness, and every part of my life that does not please you. I choose you. I give myself to you. I receive your forgiveness and ask you to take your rightful place in my life as my Savior and Lord. Come reign in my heart, fill me with your love and your life, and help me to become a person who is truly loving—a person like you. Restore me, Jesus. Live in me. Love through me. Thank you, God. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen. Retrieved from Ransom Heart

 

12 thoughts on “A death and an invitation

  1. Thank you for this beautiful picture today! Oh how those currents do threaten to overwhelm, but I am so glad that our Lord has told us He will hold us still! I am learning more every day about surrendering to Him through that process. May cling even more tightly to my Savior who has won such freedom for me! –Blessings to you at this Easter Season!

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  2. Now that’s what we call Grace
    Amazing Grace , God has felt our pain of losing loved ones the same pain as he felt with the death of his son upon the cross that he sent in Love for all
    Also the rejection that we feel when relationships end the same that he went thru when he was crucified .He came in Love of the Father and was rejected .
    What a Loving Savior we have that he would lay down his life so that we may live in him and thru him .
    Have a great Easter as we reflect the kindness of our Savior

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  3. Tears are pooling in my eyes as I read this, Lynn. God is giving me timely refreshment in my anxious heart as I soak in your calming photos of rivers and your words “to breathe even when those thundering waves of difficulty threaten to sweep over you.” Thank you for these encouraging reflections and for the beautiful reminder that the veil split in two to give us that new and living way to the Holy of Holies. Such a comforting thought, isn’t it? May you have a joy-filled Easter! Love and hugs to you!

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  4. Thank you for this beauty of words and pictures. I know the feeling of standing firm as the waves of the ocean swirled around me. It made me think I could conquer all. But the reality is that Jesus conquered all for us and it is because of Him we are strong. The gift of freedom is ours and your reminder today is much needed. Thank you for the beautiful prayer. Easter blessings to you!

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  5. Lynn, I loved your pictures (I always do!). Flowing water is beautiful. Your reminder that when the rushing, debris-strewn facets of life threaten to knock my feet out from under me, Jesus is there. He’s holding me upright. Sometimes it’s as we dip our feet into the waters of the unknown that God acts. When we choose to trust Him, He moves. Protects. He doesn’t tell us it will be easy to stand or walk in the river, but He does walk with us. When the calling, when life, gets hard, He helps us.

    Thanks for that message. I needed it.

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  6. You are so welcome Jeanne! I never quite know what God is going to direct me to focus on when I write. I’m glad the message was one of a reminder that Jesus is always with us even when the ‘debris-strewn facets of life threaten.” What a vivid and true way to describe those threatening times! Thank you! Have a wonderful Easter!

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  7. Thank you Lynn for sharing your gift of writing and photography with me. Thank you also for the reminder that I can trust God. That “He wants me to breathe even when those thundering waves of difficulty threaten to sweep over me, to take me to places along the currents I swore I would never go.” Help me Lord to keep my eyes on You and the goals you have for me and trust that, with your help, I can reach the destination you have planned for me. (-: Kerry

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